The Wall Street Journal had an article about the growth of messaging apps and how their use threatened both Facebook and the mobile providers. Users spending hours a day messaging with friends are not using cellphone minutes or viewing Facebook ads. The threat is not just hypothetical – a study shows that mobile apps are already more used than either Facebook or Twitter in Japan and Korea.
Many observers including my friend Mark Schaefer believe that the size of the Facebook network and its value (“network effect”) make Facebook virtually invulnerable. I suspect, though, that Facebook is vulnerable to disruptive innovation….
As noted in a previous post, Facebook was developed for and thrived in Web 2.0. Mobile connecting, Web 3.0, is here and is very different. Facebook really has not made a transition to the new platform. The limitations of mobile makes the classic Christensen disruptive innovation a real possibility. Something simpler is better on the mobile platform. I had thought that Instagram (developed for mobile) and Twitter (simple) would combine to take away the two key components of Facebook for mobile use, effectively delinking picture sharing and messaging.
Maybe instead a simple app will endanger Facebook and the cell oligopolies!