Surprise, Someone Else Says Facebook Is Dead In The Water

    June 21, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, doesn’t think that Facebook is going to survive in the world of technological competition in the future. In fact, he thinks they’re “toast.”

Speaking at the keynote of Forrester’s European forum in Paris, Colony had this to say about the biggest social network in the world:

“I think Facebook is toast. The company is in major trouble around mobile engagement and the app Internet.”

Of course, Colony’s concern with Facebook is not uncommon. The “someone else” part of the title refers to highly publicized comments from one analyst back when Facebook’s stock price was really (really, really, really) hurting. Ironfire Capital’s Eric Jackson said that Facebook would “disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared” within the next 5 to 8 years.

His concern? Facebook’s ability to monetize mobile, which he predicted as the force that would dominate the future.

Forrester’s Colony echoed those sentiments today. According to PCWorld, he said that “mobile engagement, built on architectural change brought about by the app internet will replace the broader Web as the focus of innovation and change.”

And apparently, Facebook won’t be a part of that.

Facebook’s IPO blunder was no doubt a wake up call for many investors and prospective investors. And the company struggle to monetize mobile was always at the center of that doubt, especially after Facebook amended their IPO filing to state that they “do not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and [their] ability to do so successfully is unproven.”

It’s still unclear whether Facebook will be able to truly monetize mobile and if it will bring in an untold stream of revenue, but some recent reports suggest that the company may have reason to hope. In a period following the point where Facebook began offering mobile-only ad options to advertisers, mobile ads performed very well. Much better, in fact, than desktop ads (whether they be News Feed or right-side) or all other ad packages combined. One ad partner even found that the mobile-only Sponsored Stories ads had a 25x higher click-through rate than Sponsored Stories on the desktop.

And as you know, Facebook is always looking at new ways to boost ad revenues. Two rumored services in the pipeline include a real-time bidding platform as well as location-based mobile ads.

Colony isn’t the first, and I’m sure he won’t be the last to call time of death on Facebook. Of course, much does depend on mobile – realm that is undeniably expanding at a substantial rate. This also isn’t Colony’s first prediction to make news. Back in late 2011, he predicted the burst of the social startup bubble.

  • Roger M

    Forrester research website don’t have fb-like or g+ buttons, so they are obviously clueless…..

    • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

      He’s posing a very interesting question. I mean if you look at Facebook’s earnings they’re either flat or down. Facebook is struggling with the fact that a lot of their users have gone mobile and Facebook didn’t really have a strategy to monetize that. Remember, as Mark Zuckerberg says “We’re making money to build services, not building services to make money.” I’m sorry, but if a $100 Billion dollar empire is on the line here, you better start building services to make money, because your competitors are and Facebook could end up like MySpace.

  • Adliked

    fb will reinvent the weel again and will be afloat.

  • Adliked


  • http://solarlightingsmart.com AM McEachern

    As far as being not going Mobile being the “death knell” for many companies, as e-store owners we are far more cautious about mobile payments and other mobile. With backgrounds with a large central bank AND in with internet security engineers/consultants, we aren’t worried about technology. However, we are concerned about our liability for those who don’t realize they need to secure their smart phone, iPod, iPad, and related gadgets as much if not more than their laptop or home PC/Mac. The PCI is still working out guidelines for this; once they are in place and we are confident most people are more careful about Apps they download and installing quality software (which generally is not provided with a standard device) we’ll make our checkout carts more user friendly until mobile devices.

    Our customer base is generally 50+, the bulk of which aren’t comfortable with social media OR mobile payments. So, we do Facebook, Google+ etc. largely for SEO rather than to obtain business. As our stores mature, we will be glad to embrace mobile, but we know the bottom line is that making mobile payments is neither as easy nor as quick as the ads make it out to be.

    Whether Facebook goes the way of Google or MySpace, we think we’re covered: we don’t put our our eggs in any one basket. Lately, for example, we are getting several customers via from Pinterest, along with blogging and search engines. Few come from Facebook.

    Interestingly, most Pinterest customers that contact us make purchases by phone rather than the Internet because they “aren’t comfortable buying over the Web.” Of course, when we process payments via phone, we do so through a virtual (and highly secure) payment processor but they don’t care: what our customers seem to want (and half of our business is from repeat customers) is quality, personalized customer service. Not automation, which they are quick to pick up on and which we hope to avoid. We’d rather train (and train well) and pay college interns than use automated customer service programs.