Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Facebook Lenses (Stratechery)

Final paragraphs from a wide-ranging Facebook perspective
"At the risk of veering into broad-based psychoanalysis, I think a lot of the Facebook skepticism is because so much of the content seems so shallow and petty, or in the case of the last few years, actively malicious. How can such a product survive?

In fact, it survives for the very reason it exists: Facebook began in Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room by quite literally digitizing offline relationships that already existed, both in real life and in actual physical “facebooks”. Facebook is so powerful because of this direct connection to the real world: it is shallow and petty and sometimes malicious — and yes, often good — because we humans are shallow and petty and sometimes malicious — and yes, often good.

By extension, to insist that Facebook will die any day now is in some respects to suggest that humanity will cease to exist any day now; granted, it is a company and companies fail, but even if Facebook failed it would only be a matter of time before another Facebook rose to replace it.

That seems unlikely: for all of the company’s travails and controversies over the past few years, its moats are deeper than ever, its money-making potential not only huge but growing both internally and secularly; to that end, what is perhaps most distressing of all to would-be competitors is in fact this quarter’s results: at the end of the day Facebook took a massive hit by choice; the company is not maximizing the short-term, it is spending the money and suppressing its revenue potential in favor of becoming more impenetrable than ever.

“Utter disaster” indeed."
Facebook Lenses (Stratechery)

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