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Facebook's Unbundling Gathers Momentum

Facebook's Unbundling Gathers Momentum

All the signs are there for Facebook to unbundle itself and stand as a series of apps and sites catering for specific needs: Instagram for photos, Messenger for chatting and email, Search and the lesser known but canny Paper. Paper is a series of stories curated by the user as opposed to Facebook.

Status updates from the traditional news feed still feature but there is more of an emphasis on reading longer articles. Links to news from higher quality media sources pitch Paper as a worthy competitor to sites like Buzzfeed and Vox which are popular with the Millenial generation.

When presenting to TechCrunch, Facebook developer Mike Matas lauded the merits of Paper, saying he rarely used the big blue site anymore unless he wanted to check events and birthdays. Now he probably never checks in as those two features have been added to the app. The excellent Search mechanism Facebook have rolled out over the last year or so has features Google would struggle to provide. As well as looking for people or places, it's possible to ask questions such as 'people who like my page who also like (enter competitor's name)'. This opportunity for business to learn more about their customers thanks to all their information being in one place on Facebook is enormous.

All this makes sense when you consider Mark Zuckerberg's comments in an interview with The New York Times where he talks about the difference between using your desktop or mobile. Users don't mind flicking between apps to do different things, they don't really need a one-stop shop like Facebook on a desktop anymore, particularly as each activity may require different levels of anonymity or users may want different sets of friends to see pictures to those they want to chat to. This allows each app to run as high a quality service as possible.

The billion Facebookers are a monumental source of data and income for Zuckerberg and his gang, allowing them the luxury of unbundling at a leisurely pace, seeing what works and what doesn't over a period of time. What will Facebook look like in another 10 years?


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