Saturday, October 20, 2012
Facebook's Doggone Stock
If Marky Mark 2.0 was creating Facebook today, would he choose a different name in light of recent missteps to monetization? Would he have used "FaceValue" to reflect the falling stock price since its IPO? Or "FacePalm" to refer to the embarrassment over privacy concerns and leaks that pop up faster than "Like Us" buttons. Or perhaps "Fakebook" to play off all the millions of fake accounts it continues to uncover every day?
These were my thoughts as I waited at the vet's office frustrated by the new mobile ads clogging my Facebook mobile feed. As I watched my poor dog get prodded and poked with needles, he seemed unfazed. Nor did he bat an eyelash at visit's end from the exorbitant bill for his food and medicine. He got a treat and was thrilled. And that got me to thinking on how to rescue Facebook stock.
Facebook developers, attorneys, and management aren't responsible for all these problems. It's us who are to blame; the three-quarter billion-give-or-take real members whose data makes up Facebook's nest egg.
I mean in its defense, we're not even supposed to be using Facebook in the first place. It was designed to pick up Ivy League co-eds as The Social Network explained. And now, it's not just college folks that belong, it's far worse -- working people. To some Silicon Valley start ups, the real world is a necessary evil. The irony of the social network being created by an anti-social network is not lost upon them. Alas, if only "The Matrix" was reality and people could be "commented out" of the source code, we wouldn't have put Facebook in this compromising situation.
Facebook advertising revenue generating has been a bust. That's why the stock value's continued to drop and the less than expected revenues. It's totally all our fault because we prefer the Google and Amazon ad plans. Recently it started seeking out and deleting its millions of fake profiles to help win over skeptical advertisers. Of the 83 million false accounts it initially found, over half were duplicate accounts, and almost 23 million were used for companies, groups...and pets.
That's right. Pets. And therein lies the goldmine Facebook has overlooked. My epiphany at the veterinarian's was that the road out of the "dog house" leads straight to our dog's house. Rather than play with people's privacy why not just undermine the personal lives of the canine contingency? They actually prefer when they have their privacy infringed upon. Why not target dogs with ads rather than using the their masters? People just complain about not wanting to be exploited. But pets...well what self-respecting dog wouldn't invest their life savings in a website that gave them say rawhide treats?
To Fido, Facebook isn't undervalued, it's simply under-scented. Rename it Nosebook, then figure out a way to replace photos with "Scratch and Sniff" and the dog members of Facebook will make the stock skyrocket. No complaints regarding user interface, privacy, or user enjoyment now. Just one smelluva' good time.
The ball is in your court, Facebook. (Or better, pretend to throw the ball the other way and fake us all out.) Bring back those accounts and appeal to the needs of your four legged friends and the stock will flourish. All this time the answer was right under your cold, wet noses. Now, who's a good boy?
Article first published as How to Save Facebook Stock on Technorati.