Facebook’s New Product: Allow Non-friends to Message You for $1

Saw this over on Mashable. This should go over nicely:

Facebook announced Thursday that it is testing a new option to charge users a one-time fee of $1 to send a message to another user’s inbox on the network who they aren’t friends with.

Facebook Reacts After Pulling Trigger, Again

If there is one thing I have learned from Facebook, it’s that it shoots first and ask questions later. Okay, maybe they aren’t the ones asking the questions, but they definitely are on the receiving end.

Facebook’s recent stint has to do with changing their users’ default email address to their own @facebook.com service. Surprise, surprise, now they are putting engineers on the case to investigate what went wrong.

But this isn’t the first time Facebook has quietly rolled out something huge, only to be met with outrage. Who could forget their surprise privacy changes back in May 2010? This, of course, wasn’t the only time they made sweeping changes to their privacy policy; they also did so in 2009.

When dealing with Facebook, it is best to be prepared for random changes to disrupt your online life. From making once private atrributes public to changing your preferred email address, Facebook’s aim is to keep you on your toes. As I have said before, you are the product and anything they can do to better monetize you the better.

The Sunday Times Rumors RIM Being Split Up

From the Verge:

The Sunday Times reports today that RIM is considering a plan to split its handset division and messaging network into two separate companies, and will sell off the struggling BlackBerry hardware business. The British paper doesn’t cite any sources in the report, but it says that Facebook and Amazon are both “potential buyers.”

Facebook and Amazon? I guess I could see Amazon as a potential buyer, but Facebook does not compute. Amazon could make sense if they were looking at building their own internal hardware team. The RIM employees could simply move from one hierarchy to another and continue with their daily grind; all but under different management.

While there have been rumors of Facebook creating their own phone, the existing mobile market is already heavily saturated with Android- and iOS-based phones. If Facebook were to enter the market, I believe they would follow Amazon’s lead and fork Android. And since Bing has Facebook integration, I wouldn’t be surprised if their maps app would be powered by Bing as well.

Facebook Ad Network A Reality

Just yesterday I posted a story where Nomura Equities Research issued a buy for Facebook. Their reasoning:

[…] But Facebook’s ace in the hole is what Nowak and his colleagues are betting on: The company’s deep treasure trove of user data […]

How would they use this data? My only guess was that they would create their own external ad network for use by sites outside of Facebook.com. It appears my guess was spot on.

According to Inside Facebook, it appears Facebook is already placing ads on Zynga.com. Facebook even notes the external ads in this Help Center entry.

Facebook Unique U.S. Users Slipping

From The Next Web:

[…] According to comScore, Facebook is shedding monthly unique users in the United States. Users located in the States are more monetizable than users in other locales, making them more important on a 1:1 basis, from a revenue perspective.

This makes me wonder how Facebook will use its deep treasure trove of user data to raise more revenue.

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