I cringe at each headline that I read about Facebook’s development of a deeply integrated mobile phone. While it’s en vogue to intimate a competition with Google, the reality is that Google is developing an augmented reality device while Facebook is developing their version of the Microsoft Kin. There’s also the pesky problem of Android’s market share (near 60% in Q1 2012) and the fact that Facebook’s mobile problem is a problem of monetization and not reach (does anybody want to buy a Facebook phone so they can see and click Facebook ads? Didn’t think so). The bottom line is that there isn’t any software that Facebook could integrate into its hardware to cause the mass migration that many write-ups are hopeful for.
All may not be lost, though. Here’s the big idea: the Facebook phone could offer users functions exclusively available with the phone. Facebook engineers – build these features into the Facebook software NOW and see your company’s stock price soar:
#1 The Dislike Button. Want to be catty with one press of a button or publically shame a family member to use Facebook more judiciously? The Dislike button is for you. Future versions will also integrate this button into the Facebook search engine, which will heavily weigh dislikes when determining SERP position for any particular website.
#2 Mandatory Friends. You see that girl who broke your heart in high school – she looks fabulous in her profile picture (do her lips look plumper? Not Meg Ryan plump, but fuller?) but her account is set to private and for some reason she will not accept your friend request. Not a problem with Facebook phone. On the way home from the Facebook store you like all of her pictures, comment on how they make her look “hot”, and “Dislike” pictures of her with her fiancee. It’s not at all creepy with your Facebook phone. Her only remedy? Buy a Facebook phone which provides an opt-out to mandatory friending.
#3 Game thwart. In response to any Zynga game request, with Facebook phone you can pay to ruin that person’s social game. Dispatch a small Army of gophers into anyone’s Farmville or get the word out in Mafia Wars that your friend is a snitch. The best feature is that you don’t even have to understand the game to do this. Just pay Zynga through Facebook’s PayPal analog FacePal and they will take care of it for you.
#4 Deep Klout integration. The infallible harbinger of all social influence could integrate itself into Facebook phone with a feature that increases your social “influence” score. Monthly birthday announcements (“Happy birthday again this month, Jim!), automatically generated messages from your social circle, and a feature that allows you to post to your wall from other people’s accounts. “Jim – we haven’t talked in forever! How are you doing? Kanye says hi too!” posts Kim Kardashian.
#5 Foursquare immunity. The new Facebook phone disallows anyone to unfriend you
immediately after seeing one of your obnoxious (now automatic) Foursquare check-ins ever (unless they have a Facebook phone). Anytime one of your Foursquare updates flashes on a friend’s screen the software integrated into Android or iPhone would briefly freeze. For the screen to unfreeze they have to “Like” your visit. This insures that people acknowledge your presence at Target, Dave and Busters or Cold Stone Creamery – each and every visit.
Facebook phone looks to be a derivative product developed a few years too late into a market that it can’t differentiate in. But with these simple software enhancements, Facebook may have what Charlie Sheen described as a “winner winner chicken dinner.”
(This is NSFW for language and erratic behavior)
Not into long-term commitments? Please consider sharing via the share buttons above.
Thanks for your support – please shoot me a note and tell me what I can do for you (can I like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, share your blog, do your dishes?)! ***disclaimer – I hate doing dishes***