Facebook, it’s hard to believe that little over a decade ago this social media giant was nothing more than one man’s project in a Harvard dorm. While Mr. Zuckerberg never did finish his courses that year, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind considering his “little project” is now a multi-billion dollar company that boasts 1.86 billion monthly active users.
In fact, it has undergone some pretty radical changes in recent years, from a business perspective going public in May of 2012, and from the user end separating the Facebook Messenger app in 2014 (a move some people still argue about). Where are they headed? That’s a tough question to answer.
So, in the hopes of gaining an accurate perspective on what the future of the company might hold we asked a group of industry experts…
What’s The Future Look Like?
Here’s what they had to say…
Michael Quoc, Founder & CEO of ZipWorks
“In 2022, we’ll no longer access Facebook through a feed. Rather, the Facebook of the future will follow us wherever we go, and we’ll interact with it through voice commands and via augmented reality devices like digital eyeglasses. Facebook will be integrated throughout our homes, cars, and offices through a range of appliances and screens, and will be the dominant platform powering virtual reality experiences. Like today, Facebook will keep you connected with what’s happening around the world and among your friends, but the service will be more deeply woven into our lives, and we’ll experience Facebook without the need to pick up our phones.”
Mike Koehler, President & CSO at Smirk New Media
“For businesses, I see that Facebook will get deeper into providing front line customer service for brands through messenger and bots. Facebook could potential come to replace stand alone websites for some brands and be a one-stop source for updates, customer service and sales for brands. Also advertising marketing and creative will continue to become more sophisticated – specific videos and brand messaging to specific demographics – as advertising money falls away from TV, billboards and traditional media and is re-routed to Facebook and Instagram. For advertisers, a rate hike is more than likely on the way. The deeper the metrics that Facebook can and will provide the more granular advertisers will get with their audiences, perhaps delivering customer messages depending on the block where someone lives.”
Julia Munder, International Marketing Manager at Maxwell Scott Bags
“Facebook have introduced a marketplace and shop feature already as a social user and they’ll probably improve it and make it better as well so that more people know about it and use it. FB also seems to become a social / political entity, for example you can mark yourself safe during terror attacks, now they roll out a new alert to combat fake news. From a marketing perspective it will probably mean: consumers will shop more on Facebook and potentially pay through Facebook also (similarly to Apple pay), introduce virtual reality storefronts and transitioning into PPC/Google direction. The advert platform already changed drastically, more video ads, more search via FB – you can already search for products / news / companies on FB, and like for Google as well search via speech recognition.”
Bill Winn, Digital PR & Display Media Manager at Inseev Interactive & VP, Content at the San Diego Chapter of the American Marketing Association
“At the moment, Facebook dominates social media ad revenue while Google leads in internet display ad revenue. In the future, I think you’ll see Facebook compete successfully with Google for internet display revenue. Facebook is already part way there with its Audience Network of mobile apps and websites. And while its Atlas platform has gotten off to slow start, Facebook’s user data is just too good for it to not be a major player in display advertising outside its own platform. Some day soon I predict that if you click a display ad in your browser, the chance of Facebook earning revenue from that click will be north of 40%.”
Bradley Shaw , Digital Marketing and Online Consulting Expert at SEO Expert Brad Inc.
“Future of facebook includes VR: Facebook has two virtual reality headsets on the market: the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR (developed with Samsung). But headset technology is still in its early stages, and there is only a limited selection of games and movies to experience. Zuckerberg wants virtual reality to be something everyone uses to socialize because that seems like a key way to get people to stick with VR over time.”
Kean Graham, Founder & CEO of MonetizeMore
“Facebook has made a big move to offer a product that is a direct competitor to Google AdSense. Advertising is Google’s greatest source of profits and is no doubt completely dependent on these revenue streams. Google has enjoyed the luxury of a monopoly of publishers’ ad inventories. However, over the past couple years, their market share has been eroding. This will continue with the emergence of Facebook within programmatic advertising. Their social approach to advertising is unique to Google’s intent approach and will continue to take chunks out of Google’s market share. Expect the competition between Facebook and Google to stiff and at times, heated.”
Seth Gilgus, Digital Marketing Specialist at Online Optimism
“The future of Facebook is bright, especially with the success of additions like Facebook advertising and live. Facebook has proven time again that it is a relevant, dynamic social media platform capable of adjusting to criticism’s and moving to avoid boredom. Where other social media platforms have receded in their popularity and innovation (i.e. Twitter), Facebook continues to roll out new updates and components that renew its interest among its users. I don’t see Facebook’s leadership letting up anytime soon, so I imagine it will continue to lead as the most popular social media platform.”
Janel Laravie, CEO & Founder of Chacka Marketing
“While most teenagers log into Facebook occasionally to keep in touch with extended family, overall they’re not active on Facebook and they perceive that Facebook is more for parents. Efforts by Facebook to incorporate features similar to Snapchat’s or build them into their own Instagram property have not attracted these younger users to Facebook. In the future, Instagram will become an increasingly important component of Facebook’s revenue model and product ads with a seamless means of transacting will become a native component of newsfeeds. Amazon poses such a threat to Facebook because they’ve figured out how to contain the entire shopping experience within Amazon.com. Over the next five years, Facebook could begin to generate ad revenue while keeping the user inside the Facebook ecosystem by enabling users to store credit card information as part of their profile settings and having the option to click & buy without leaving their newsfeed.”
Eric Anthony, Founder of StreamingObserver.com
“Right now, Facebook is really prioritizing videos. When a video’s posted, it has a great organic reach. If they keep this up, in five years, Facebook will be filled with videos. Instead of posts, lots of bite-sized videos.”