Thursday, November 01, 2012

Why Facebook’s Size Is Irrelevant

Facebook reaches a billion people on a regular basis.

That's the type of thing people talk about when talking about Facebook.

It's size.  It’s impressive reach.  A billion people.

It’s a fallacy.

Facebook doesn’t reach a billion people on a regular basis.

A billion people search Facebook on a regular basis.

Facebook is a search platform.  Not a reach platform.

That’s why Facebook is about fulfillment – basically fulfilling the need to feel connected.  Not with advertisers, mind you.  

But, with each other.

Jakob Nielsen, called the world’s leading expert on Web usability by U.S. News & World Report, said it best.  “The web is not a selling medium.  It is a buying medium.”

Which means it is a search platform, not a reach platform.  It is more yellow pages than TV.

This makes the enormous numbers that Facebook throws around irrelevant.

Because search speaks to existing intent.  It does not create new desires.   It is not scalable.

Which makes it pretty poor branding tool.

Facebook is selling a reach strategy when it is really a search platform.

They don’t seem to realize this.

Bet Google does.

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