BrainTrust Query: Facebook IPO Puts Relationships at the Center of Business
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Hanifin Loyalty blog.
With its user base reportedly reaching 845 million users globally, Facebook measurements are largely all bigger than life. Many of these users are part of the Millennial generation and have grown up accustomed to sharing detailed aspects of their daily lives with their networked friends.
Amidst the eye-popping numbers included in Faceook’s S1 filing, founder Mark Zuckerberg’s business perspective was especially interesting. He highlighted the importance of personal relationships as being "a fundamental unit of our society," and made clear that a key objective for Facebook is to help "extend people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships."
The letter went on to share Mr. Zuckerberg’s view on the future of our relationship society, that "the world’s information infrastructure should resemble the social graph — a network built from the bottom up or peer to peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date."
Reading between the lines, it seems that we’ve taken another big step away from the command and control organizational structure of the 60’s and 70’s. If Facebook has its way, we are rapidly evolving towards a wholly populist world. At first, it was "Me, Inc.," then we became "Free Agents," now it’s going to be every man or woman for his/herself. Hopefully it does not result in anarchy.
Facebook of course paints this evolutionary process in a highly positive light, pointing towards the resulting "stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services" as the result of this movement.
Ironically, the instant poll at the bottom of the article revealed 42 percent of the 1,500-odd people which had voted at that time stating they are spending less time on Facebook now than one year ago. Apparently, all of this sharing is tiring some people out.
Sharing, fatigue and anxiety may all go hand in hand as a blog posted by a Facebook employee chronicled the importance of the site to every aspect of Millennial life, but worried a bit about loss of privacy, stating that "Facebook also has made us paranoid."
How the human spirit adapts to a non-stop world of sharing is the ultimate question that will be decided over the next few years. The outcome will not only impact the market value of a more mature Facebook in the market, but also how marketing in general and social loyalty in particular evolves in the digital age.
- Facebook IPO Puts Relationships at the Center of Business – Hanifin Loyalty
- As Facebook IPO Emphasizes Relationships, It also Redefines the Word – Hanifin Loyalty
- Facebook IPO filing – Securities & Exchange Commission
- A Generation’s Facebook State of Mind – The Wall Street Journal
Discussion questions: How might Facebook’s “bottom up or peer to peer” organizational structure affect retail businesses? Can Facebook deliver on connecting retailers and brands with consumers to create much sought after relationships? If so, how will retailers and brands make use of the opportunity?