First you had a social networking site where you could sign up, be friends, share relationship statuses and photos, plus the occasional poke (no pun intended).
Logging into Facebook today reveals Facebook Ads, Facebook Developer Apps, Facebook Places, Facebook Deals, Facebook Pages, and the latest announcement, Facebook Messages.
Not forgetting Facebook's credits which are being tested at the moment, the new developments coming out of Facebook HQ won't mean much to us or those we aim our advertising campaigns towards today; we'll probably still be spending the same amount of time on our gmail, tweeting, ranking in Google, searching for Vouchers and so on. But - take some time to look a bit further down the line, the next 'batch' of demographics, namely those who are finding their feet on the internet, are about to be locked into one arena - the Facebook arena...
With all of your future advertising demographics 'locked' into Facebook, you'll could completely remove the term 'Social Strategy' - replacing with 'Facebook Strategy' if these new announcements from Facebook continue (and you haven't already, of course!).
Problems for the Performance Marketing Sector?
I think potentially one of the main deciding factors will be the amount of people that will consider using their '@facebook.com' email address. For many Facebook users, being able to get a facebook email address will be a 'sought after' web property that most will want to get hold of, which according to the Facebook Message's FAQ's:
Smart filtering: You’ll always see what’s important to you first – messages from the people you’re close to take precedence over mailing lists.
Normally, not thought of as a problem, as gmail have the priority inbox function. However, it is not the initial function on gmail and you still see your 'mailing list' emails. On the main Facebook Messages landing page it currently states:
Messages from unknown senders and bulk email go into the 'Other' folder & Spam is hidden from view automatically - problems for email marketing?
Facebook Deals & Places
Taking foursquare head on with Facebook Places, fully competing with location-based services like Vouchers and Deals with Facebok Deals - does Facebook have the ability to start the clock ticking on Performance Marketing's demise?
What's Next from Facebook?
Facebook Price Comparison, Facebook Search, Facebook Shopping?
You could potentially remove the term 'Social Strategy' and replace with 'Facebook Strategy' if these new announcements from Facebook continue.
Am I concerned that these innovations could be the beginning of the end for Performance? Not at all. As we've said before and will no doubt say again, Publishers move with the times. But does it mean you will need to become Facebook's new best friend in order to keep your Performance Marketing above ground? I'd say so! Not like it isn't already, though?!
On a personal level, most people view Facebook as their personal space, as there is a movement to split work and home. Will these announcements dilute the whole intial ethos of Facebook at being a social and fun place to interact with friends online?