Facebook – It's the new Yahoo!

by The Doug May 8th, 2008 

Retail Therapy
Image – CasualChatters.com

Retail therapy helps us to feel so much better when things dont go our way, and it would seem that the same is true for large corporations with lots and lots and lots of big bucks!

Abercrombie and Fitch
Image Courtesy – lemetrosexuel.com

Since Microsofts offer to purchase Yahoo! didnt seem to turn out, they have found themselves with all this money for acquisition available and a designer outfit that appears to be unavailable at this time. Like any savvy fashionista, theyve decided it was time to head to the mall for some serious retail therapy to make themselves feel better about not getting what theyve been holding all that lovely money for. LO AND BEHOLD! Like spying the first Abercrombie & Fitch store L.A. (and a demographic to match), Microsoft has decided to head on over to facebook and see what fits.

Now on the skeptical side, one would say that its a foolish move to try and fit into these outfits which APPEAR to be losing appeal to developers and has lack of experience in monetizing ads in this very social space, but one must look deeper than that.

Microsoft has never been secret about wanting the people behind the development of Yahoo! and wanted to welcome them with open arms, but now there is a facebook pool of independent developers that Microsoft will most likely be able to scoop at a payscale that will keep each party giggling. NICE! Besides, they already put it on layaway last year with a deposit of $240 million, giving them a 1.6% stake in the social network, and if they are able to buy it out at almost a third of what they were going to pay for Yahoo! then theyve done well.

Youth
Image Courtesy – New Zealand National Youth Council

OH and the YOUTH! Now we all know that facebook has some of everyone from each age group on it, but the hordes of youth who are perfect to target now, as well as those who can be cultivated for future targeting also presents an interesting opportunity.

Google and facebook
Image Courtesy – Techcrunch.com

Finally, what can facebook give to Microsoft that Google doesnt have (which can very possibly make it the hottest outfit available)? Sheryl Sandberg, Elliot Schrage, Ethan Beard, and Benjamin Ling FORMERLY of Google, Gideon Yu from YouTube, and the challenges available to these very noteworthy professionals, who left their former positions due to lack of challenge. Its very much like choosing to adorn the outfit with diamonds and emeralds instead of rhinestones.

Diamonds and Emeralds
Image Courtesy – Lou Goldberg Jeweller

Anyone wonder what possibilities exist for Microsoft Live, Messenger, Open Office, Hotmail, Spaces, (and the rest) if Microsoft were to own such a social network, with such a market and such an executive body? And what can be built into such a network so that nobody actually needs to open another browser to Google something when the Live search can be executed right there AND the results of the search shared with EVERYONE on your list? (Think paid search ads and display ads)

So this season, maybe facebook is the new black, or at the very least perhaps it is the new Yahoo!

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

Cheers!

The Doug
aka Doug Gebhardt

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