When Facebook first launched their mobile app it was one of the best things that ever happened. Suddenly, we all could experience all of our friends on the go.
But, that was years ago and the magic of Facebook on your phone has since died. The current mobile app is clunky, SLOW and cluttered. As Facebook jammed more and more “stories” for us to digest, the newsfeed got busier and busier. With the roll of timeline, navigating within the app became so slow that it wasn’t even worth while. If your experience is anything like mine, I spent much more time reading “Loading…” than my friends status updates.
With Facebook’s enormous IPO and recent acquisition of Instagram, it’s left many skeptics asking: What is Facebook going to do to solve the mobile problem? Unfortunately for Facebook, it goes beyond just the inability to monetize the mobile app into the entire mobile product.
To break out and sustain growth and engagement Facebook needs to make a drastic change to their mobile approach and reinvent the mobile experience from the ground up.
It seems based on events from this week, Facebook is giving all of us a very direct view into where they are heading with their mobile platform (keyword – platform).
They are going to deconsctruct themselves from one app, into many apps.
Instead of trying to focus on making the singular Facebook app better, or generate revenue. Facebook is taking a smarter approach and breaking the entire experience down into multiple apps (or so I speculate).
We got a glimpse of this when they rolled the Messenger app late last year. Then, just this week “Pages” came out for Facebook admins, creating an app that serves the sole purpose of page management.
Then, today in probably one of their most signficiant moves to date, they quietly pushed out a “Camera” app that is a newsfeed of just photos from your friends. It also allows for easy photo sharing, photo editing and filters. You might say that if Facebook and Instagram got married this is what it would look like.
The Camera app is genius: it’s a simple experience, visually stimulating and almost makes you want to share photos…..thereby spending more time on Facebook, etc, etc.
Oddly enough, there was not a single brand page photo in the Camera app….even though I’m a fan of many pages that posted photos today.
Is Facebook going to put brand content into this app organically? Or, are they going to make brands pay to get presence in this visually stimulating app?
Maybe this is how Facebook will monetize after all….break down Facebook, spread it out and then block all branded content from the new apps. If brands want in, they have to pay.
Naturally, as Camera rolls and spreads users are going to flock to the apps that make the experience more stimulating….which means they’ll stop using the primary Facebook app so much…which means that brands will see an even further decline on interactions on their posts.
My hunch is that this move is just the beginning. It’s just a matter of time before we have a “Status” app, “Music” app a “Video” app, etc.
Maybe Facebook knows how to solve their mobile problem after all.