Social Commerce

Facebook on How to Lose $63bn (and waste 2 years betting on the wrong tech)

So Mark Zuckerberg has admitted to having “burned two years” betting on the wrong technology – the mobile web.  The Facebook CEO, speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt said betting on an HTML 5 powered mobile web was his company’s “biggest mistake”.

What the Facebook should have done, according to Zuckerberg, was develop native apps – apps that build on smartphone platforms – iOS and Android.  But the company, which has lost $63bn of market capitalisation since its initial IPO market cap of $104bn ($104bn – $41bn = $63bn) , said it’s back on track now – with a (finally) half-decent iOS app, a new Android app soon to be launched.

And with the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5 today – we see Facebook is baked into the new iOS 6 powering the smartphone

  • Single sign on for Facebook
  • Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos
  • Facebook friends’ contact information and profile pictures in Contacts
  • Facebook notifications in Notification Center

Zuckerberg emphasised that the future of Facebook is mobile “We are a mobile company now” he asserted. Interesting.  Apart from mobile advertising, Facebook appears to see its future in human search. It would make back-to-basics sense for an app that started out as a ‘trombinoscope’ directory service.

If the value of the social web is all about smart social learning – learning from other people’s experience, rather than your own – what can social commerce learn from Zuckerberg’s $63bn mistake? Well. Google’s Eric Schmitt might have been right when he said “put your best people on mobile“, but it’s where on mobile you put them that matters – apps not the mobile web.

Time to re-read the Wired Classic – The Web is Dead (the Future is Apps)?

The Bigger they Come, The Harder they Fall.





Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

1 comment Add New Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.