What can we do about Facebook?
Around 4 years ago, we have posted an article Is Facebook becoming Tencent like? to analyze the strategy Facebook adopted to build its technology empire at that time. Today, we would continue this discussion since the story seems not end there.
Facebook is still on the way of copying others. The latest victim being copied is Snapchat where lots of its new features have been copied by Instagram -- an app owned by Facebook. This has helped Instagram acquired lots of active users, especially young users whom Snapchat relies on. Hence the doubt becomes whether there are other victims along the way.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported a story where Facebook is using a warning system called early bird to track competitive ideas. This is a very powerful system, it can be used to track products with new technology or new idea in the world. Once these products are identified, their fate is under control of Facebook, either they would be acquired or they would be copied.
What would happen to us? Facebook now owns 500 billion US dollars market value and it's the fourth largest technology companies in the world. It has ample intelligence and resource to compete with others. Those small companies or startups cannot afford to compete with Facebook at all. The end result would be that there would be less and less startups with potential to challenge the giants. More worse, the diversity of technology culture is restricted, people would be unwilling to try new stuff because of the concern of being copied.
This is a question every Internet company or technology startup needs to be concerned about. When he giant is trying to copy you, what should you do? The options are quite limited indeed. It imposes big challenges for these startups, they may get away from what Facebook would be interested in or they should come out something with high technology barrier. Or should they keep their product offline? Nevertheless, don't be hesitate and try it out when you have a game changing idea. Remember Facebook has too may competitors while you would only have one competitor so that you can be focus.
In fact every person on the Internet would expect to see that the Internet world is full of diversity. Maybe we should be patient, there will always be game changer who breaks the existing balance.