Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Will Facebook Succeed?

Like everyone else in the universe, I’ve been thinking a lot about Facebook lately. I get friend invites, messages and other randomness flooding my email daily (at some point I’m going to need to turn off the email alerts). However, I’m less interested in the functionality at the moment. Rather, I’ve got two specific thoughts about what I need to see from Facebook to believe in their prospects long-term . . .

Off-Site Integration

Apparently they’ve got some API stuff that makes this possible already, but I haven’t seen it. My thought is simple: How do I integrate Facebook into my site rather than just integrating my site into Facebook? I’m not quite sure what I’d like to see from them in this realm, but the way I see it is they’ve laid the groundwork for a city and only provided one road in.

Advertising Differentiation

Google does one thing better than anyone else on the planet: Help advertisers target customers at the point of consideration. Sure they do other things well (like building applications), but they make their money with the former. So my question to Facebook (as a marketer) is what’s your singular point of advertising differentiation? Clearly it’s not regular display advertising (which I wouldn’t have expected), but what is it? I suspect there’s some real possibilities with their listing services, as being able to sell goods to a select group is worthwhile. However, even better might be the ability to actually share revenues with users and have them display ads for brands they trust/care for.

Anyway, not too sure on either of these things, but quite curious to hear everyone else’s thoughts.

Update (8/1/07): Valleywag got a sneak peak at Facebook’s rate card interesting . . . the news feed is something I hadn’t thought about.

July 30, 2007