Well, not quite, but it certainly feels that way! When did marketers stop using their own URLs in ads and start using Facebook URLs?
It’s amusing how this seems to have come full circle. Many users started out on AOL, a relatively closed ecosystem. Then, the open Internet came along and AOL’s relevance faded. Now, we’re cycling back from open to Facebook’s partially closed ecosystem. (I do think Facebook will settle into a hybrid of open & closed that AOL never seemed to achieve: they’ll control the ecosystem “backbone”, while providing open APIs for apps.)
Also, we’re starting to see Facebook opportunities analogous to what’s existed for the Internet. For example, we have content management systems (CMS) and other tools to manage Web sites, and we’ll see analogous tools (and associated apps) for Facebook page content. Other things to expect for Facebook:
- Analysis tools for the social graph, analogous to Web site analytics tools
- Tools to manage marketing communications (status updates, new content, direct messaging, etc.), analogous to email marketing / campaign management tools
- Individual user analysis (using social graph data) and profiling, analogous to ad targeting/profiling systems
- Systems to manage communications with individual users, analogous to existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools
In some cases, existing Web tools will evolve to include Facebook-specific functionality. In other cases, the Facebook ecosystem will be different enough that we’ll see new tools emerge (I’m expecting this to happen around the social graph).