Thursday, March 8, 2012

Facebook Interest: why it is important to Facebook, Twitter and marketeers

It is astonishing to see how fast Facebook can move and introduce new things considering their scale.  They have 500+ million daily active users, yet at the speed they can churn out new features and roll them out to all user base is truly remarkable.
Facebook rolled out Interests where users
can follow interesting people;
Twitter needs to watch out
Just today Facebook tweaked their subscription feature to introduce Interests.  It's like Twitter feed within Facebook in that you get to choose who you want to follow and can get their public updates from your Facebook page.  On the surface this may not look like a big change, but it has a few significant implications to Facebook and other social network users.

First is public interest group.  This feature will allow Facebook to identify the users who are interested in a topic by seeing their following relationship within Facebook social graph.  Public interest group was primarily Twitter's sweet spot and Facebook is now directly going after Twitter's curated news feed model.  Only difference between Facebook and Twitter is the pseudonym and 140 character limit.  Will that be enough for Twitter to hold on to the #1 real-time news network title?

I think Twitter has a work cut out for them.  I think the main difference in the speed of innovation between the two companies is company culture.  Facebook is still managed by the founding coder and values engineering 'hack' while Twitter's founder has mostly left the company and recently rejoined to spur the growth demanded by investors.  It's also troubling to read engineering team culture is not as focused on innovation from earlier report on Business Insider.

Second is that interest group will be crucial for marketeers.  As I blogged earlier about finding the segment of users who will be interested in topic is the main question that sellers are asking themselves.  New Facebook Interest fits right in there.  By allowing public interest group formation, Facebook will now have access to a social advertisement network that is identified by the interest people have.  With 850+ million users and growing it will be difficult to ignore Facebook when marketeers are putting together their next campaign. 


  1. I find facebook a very marketable platform in the social media platform. Facebook pages integrated with timeline makes it a rich experience for consumers.

  2. There is no doubt that Facebook is leading user experience for users to engage with brands. Facebook is also making a push to become e-commerce destination for engaged users, but having trouble with seeing user adoption. There is an interesting article on this topic by Charles Nicholls at iMedia Connection.