Facebook and the social graph

by Volker Weber

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Facebook really wants your phone number. And they want a messaging service like WhatsApp that uses the phone number as an identifier. When Facebook has both, they know your real social graph. Not the list of 'friends' you have accumulated.

Simple solution: Facebook does not need your phone number.

Comments

Now they're just missing your phone number, vowe - http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/facebook462.html :-)

John Keys, 2014-02-20 16:46

I could not help but notice.

Volker Weber, 2014-02-20 16:48

Puh, das war gerade noch rechtzeitig; SMS und JOYN wollten sich gerade die Klippe runterstürzen.

Martin Kautz, 2014-02-20 21:04

Still the price was crazy. WhatsApp in its current form is not a substitute for Facebook and thus not a real threat. A takeover by e.g. Google and change in model could have brought that, but not today. Thus 19 billion for maybe 350 million in yearly revenue is nothing but crazy. It shows a loss of sensible relations which can happen if you become a multibillionaire that young I guess.

Martin Hiegl, 2014-02-21 00:13

@Martin: it was USD 40 / user. The same amount Microsoft paid 1999 (?) for Hotmail

Stephan H. Wissel, 2014-02-21 02:57

I think it was a sensible purchase. For a company that will be rated on growth and not user base, facebook has to do things like this. younger generations are not as invested in FB as they are Snapchat, Whatsapp and smaller apps. Whatsapp had the product FB wanted, plus the user demographic they will need for growth, and billed accordingly. Expensive, but needed.

paul mooney, 2014-02-21 09:53

Akquisition is fairly reasonable. Who knows if FB isn't an abandoned place in five years? Think AOL, Compuserve, Geocities, MySpace... And as far as I know there's no real money involved. At least not that much. Stocks...

Martin Kautz, 2014-02-21 13:26

@Volker, as an old fart, I immediately kicked WhatsApp off my phone. As I did with IG. Not based on rational reasoning, just an emotional decision. But hey, isn't the future all about emotions & gamification? :-)

Martin Kautz, 2014-02-21 13:32

Ich glaube, ich bin noch älter. Oder eben nicht. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2014-02-21 13:33

Ja, Unterschied zwischen geistigem und körperlichem Alter.
Ich mag einfach die Idee, daß ich das letzte Puzzle-Stück bin, dass FB vom Erreichen der Singularität trennt. :-)

Martin Kautz, 2014-02-21 13:56

So wichtig bin ich nicht. :-)

Volker Weber, 2014-02-21 13:57

Stephan, that could make sense if the user brought e.g. 40$ revenue per year via ads. However to pay 40x the revenue a user brings is still not a sound business decision to me.

Martin, the "no real money" thing is a fair point. However even if FB were abandoned in five years the only way to save themselves with WA would be to change the business model to increase the return per user. For now I believe their statements that they won't but instead operate it as an independent division/company.

Martin Hiegl, 2014-02-22 04:42

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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