The social media giant “Facebook” has for the first time in history lost users to other social media channels according to Ryan Holmes – CEO of HootSuite.
This article reflects what I have seen coming for many years. Why should it be any different to any other empire? All good things must come to an end.
With the creation of new branded top level domains due to begin the approval process in the last quarter of 2013, Facebook is set to be attacked by brands looking to communicate better with their customers using social media. Ferrari, Tiffany, NFL, ANZ and about 900 other brands can carry a pretty big stick.
Soon customers of these trademarks could be offered a personalised domain name to coincide with their new personalised branded web presence.
This transformation means that brands will be able to provide social media platforms with which to communicate (without restriction, without Facebook) to their customer base. While I don’t believe that this will be the end of Facebook, it is clear that Facebook is already being pressured by existing social media competitors. So imagine what it will look like when these powerful global companies start to flex their social muscle by taking it to a whole NEW TOP LEVEL of competitor.
These brands took the leap of faith and invested up to around $500,000 just for the privilege to run their own slice of the Internet. Therefore they are not going to be wasting this opportunity to create added value to their brand where their competitors can’t without a fight. There is just too much invested, to much at stake, too many heads that might roll, too much on the line for something that is little more than a naming convention.
However what that naming convention means is what counts. Global brands are looking for profit increases of as little as 1% in order to generate millions of dollars of new revenue. These new gTLDs provide that incubator for brands to be able to make that become a reality.
It is this drive that will make these new branded top level domain names successful and why Facebook needs to be very, VERY watchful. Many of these brands are wealthy and highly powerful and together they can make a big impact on Facebook’s social customer base. There is only so much time you can dedicate to being social on the Internet. So while brands currently HAVE to drive traffic to Facebook in order to do business, soon they won’t and that could be devastating. I certainly wouldn’t have shares in Facebook at the moment.
Perhaps Facebook not applying for their own gTLD will be their undoing. More likely (and something I would be prepared to put a wager on) Facebook will apply in the second round (if there is one) and suddenly the kid who was the “cool kid”, will now be the “new kid” on the block.
Here is the article from Ryan Holmes – CEO of HootSuite