**The following relates to the enterprise but is not directly related to technology companies or people in Israel.**
Every so often I like to share my thoughts on Facebook’s future and where I think it is going in regards to the enterprise and in general. My biggest prediction in the past has been that in the race to gather the world’s information, Facebook and Google are at opposite ends of the information spectrum when it comes to social and computerized gathering and are bound to clash at some point. In light of Facebook’s recent failed attempt to buy Twitter, here are three things Facebook is likely to do or should do in the future based on this recent and other not so recent news.
1. Enhanced human-powered search, via Twitter-style comments and features
As mentioned, the inspiration for this post is that in recent days there has been talk of Facebook’s failed attempt to purchase the social networking/micro-blogging site Twitter in exchange for stock options. The exact plans Facebook had for integrating Twitter, which is primarily used by business and technology professionals to communicate with one another and who commonly share links to relevant information on the Web, may be unknown, but it is safe to assume that Facebook would have somehow integrated the rest of the technology into its status feature (which currently only enables users to comment on them). Twitter’s appeal is that being a site that relies on user interactions and content, it is the ultimate way to share information and help people find useful information on the Internet.
Regardless of the failed deal, it seems that Facebook will continue to develop Twitter-like technology on its own and roll it out as soon as it can. As it already has the status feature, and comment feature, its first focus will probably be to add a way to search your own past statuses as well as those of your friends.
2. Enterprise-friendly collaboration. Goodbye GMail.
Ever since companies started creating networks on Facebook, I’ve been waiting for Facebook to announce its creation or plans for creating a special platform for enterprises. The platform could serve as a low cost intranet system for companies and allow for better collaboration and communication among employees within such companies. If Facebook changed its messaging system into a full email application it would already have the other communication means, such as chat and video chat apps available to make collaboration easier and possibly a little more fun.
Also, if Facebook wanted to take GMail straight on, it could partner with Microsoft (who it partners with for search results and advertising) and develop an online version of MS Office that it could offer on its enterprise platform for collaboration. Of course, back in October 2008, co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz and colleague Justin Rosenstein left the company with the desire to build an online “enterprise productivity suite” that will from the outside (using Facebook Connect) complement the non-work-related social aspect of Facebook.
Who doesn’t like Facebook’s events feature? It’s easy to create, access and share. Most important though is the access. Unlike Google Calendar or other calendar applications, the events are integrated throughout Facebook making it easy to access from the search bar or when you’re on the homepage after signing in to see what upcoming events there are for that day and the next few. While it is great the way it is, Facebook Events can still be improved to act as a full personal planner by making it possible to synchronize non-Facebook events with Facebook as well. Perhaps one way this could be done is with an “Share to Facebook Events” widget that could be placed on other websites.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree?
About the author: Lisa Damast is the Membership Manager of ebizQ.net and currently resides in Israel. Any questions or inquiries regarding this blog or ebizQ membership services can be directed to her via email at ldamast (at) ebizq (dot) net. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and Israel-related headlines and topics.