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Dark Days Ahead For Facebook and Google? 215

Posted by timothy
from the feel-free-to-send-me-your-discarded-shares dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Dallas Mavericks owner and media entrepreneur Mark Cuban thinks he knows the reason for Facebook's disappointing IPO; smart money has realized that 'mobile is going to crush Facebook', as the world's population increasingly accesses the Internet mostly through smartphones and tablets. Cuban notes that the limited screen real estate hampers the branding and ad placement that Google and Facebook are accustomed to when serving to desktop browsers, while phone plans typically have strict data limits, so subscribers won't necessarily take kindly to YouTube or other video ads. Forbes' Eric Jackson likewise sees a generational shift to mobile that will produce a new set of winners at the expense of Facebook and Google."
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Dark Days Ahead For Facebook and Google?

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  • Obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:50PM (#40115061)

    Flame baitin article is flame baitin.

  • by million_monkeys (2480792) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:53PM (#40115105)
    Maybe the smart money recognized hype when they saw it and is starting to think that hype isn't a safe investment?
  • by kheldan (1460303) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:56PM (#40115145) Journal
    Rememeber MySpace? No? Vaguely, maybe? How about AOL? AOL isn't entirely in the same category but it's close. Facebook will go the way of the dinosaur just like AOL, and MySpace, and LiveJournal, and whatever comes after Facebook will sooner than you think Not Be The New Hotness anymore. What we're seeing with Facebook today is just the opening overture of it's swan-song, and I for one will not miss it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:57PM (#40115169)

    Facebook and Google should go the way of the dodo because in the long run users would benefit from controlling the means of communication. We should make the services on the internet free and open and decentralized and distributed or if there's a technical reason for central servage, the users should run those central servers.

    Go Freedom! Go commons! Go opennes! Go democracy!

    Peace.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:57PM (#40115177) Journal

    One is the designer and developer of the most popular smartphone + tablet OS. The other has a garish social networking website.

    Now which one do you think is better positioned to take advantage of mobile Internet users?

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i s h . o rg> on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:04PM (#40115251)

    Also, some of the most popular mobile services. Pretty much the #1 most useful thing about a smartphone is being able to access Google Maps while you're out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:07PM (#40115287)

    Odd how you focus on Facebook as the come-and-go trend but say nothing about Google, as if the article didn't even mention them. Google hasn't innovated anything in over ten years and has adopted Microsoft-like tactics to get people to use their products (e.g., "Upgrade to Chrome!" on the search page).

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:07PM (#40115293) Journal

    The whole point of Android is to be a mobile search platform. You're not such an insufferably stupid moron that you think Google isn't making momy.

  • by camperdave (969942) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:11PM (#40115343) Journal

    One is the designer and developer of the most popular smartphone + tablet OS. The other has a garish social networking website.

    Now which one do you think is better positioned to take advantage of mobile Internet users?

    All I know is that I have an Android phone, and I feel taken advantage of.

  • Wasn't it obvious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hackysack (21649) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:22PM (#40115463)

    Simple grade 3 math explained why the shares went down. It's hard to justify that kind of multiple of earnings. Their income growth rate makes it unlikely it'll ever sustain that kind of value. It's got nothing to do with generational shifts to mobile.

    Facebook is different than Google, very different. Facebook is one well developed web app, with remarkable popularity. Google is founded on the strengths of their search engine. Search is key, search is where you start. Search means you're looking for something, and susceptible to being introduced to something else that you might not have been looking for. Facebook is a tool, an application. Ads in applications diminish my experience with my application, ads in my tools make me not use said tool.

  • by EjectButton (618561) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:24PM (#40115481)
    Yahoo stupidly paid a couple billion to Cuban for a worthless website at the height of the dot-com boom.

    Since then he has goofed around with sports teams and had a bunch of failed business ventures. Apparently on Slashdot this makes you a technology genius who's every blog post is front page material.
  • by Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:24PM (#40115489)

    Giving it away for free, but making up for it in volume. That's not a very good business plan.

  • by Genda (560240) <marietNO@SPAMgot.net> on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:27PM (#40115529) Journal

    Don't get me wrong, the forces that be, want desperately to make desktops go away... They can't be locked down or locked in the way mobile devices can be, and the people who use them well are unruly, demand their right and freedom, and typically don't play well with service providers walking all over them. So I understand the pundits claiming the PC is dead long live the mobile device!!!

    The problem is that there's this peculiar thing. Its called a DISPLAY, and the one on a COMPUTER is just a wee bit larger than a hamster's cage mirror, sized display that passes for a screen on smartphones. I swear there will in 50 years be an entire generation of blind people dancing to their retro ringtones from devices long abandoned for the health problems. I personally want a great big, huge frigging display. One that won't make every person over 35 squint so hard, they look like they're doing a Clint Eastwood imitation. I want to see what I'm working on without having a microfilm reader's lens welded to my eyes. I like movies and art that fill my field of vision. I like lots of windows up so I can code, and debug, and document, and browse, and email, and edit pictures all at the same friggin time.

    If the price of my great big display is that it sadly that leaves room for greedy clowns to slip advertisement into my field of view, so be it, I have to keep getting more creative to keep the stupid stuff out. This is a request for the world at large. Someone out there. Provide commercial media without commercials and people will gladly pay the premium. I would, in a heart beat!

  • "Locking" is a pretty strong term considering you can extract your data, and move it to another ecosystem if you choose.

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:29PM (#40115549)

    I probably should have said something more insightful like, hmm, I didn't know facebook and google didn't work on mobile devices, oh, wait, they do In fact, I probably use google maps more on my iphone than on my desktop.

    How much do you pay for using Google maps? Do you follow ads a lot? If the answer is that you don't pay anything to Google for your mobile maps, and you don't follow ads, then how is Google making money off you? The same observation applies to Facebook.

  • by TheEyes (1686556) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:39PM (#40115683)

    If "locking" means "providing me with so much good stuff--including the ability to easily leave the second I choose to--that I don't want to leave, even though I can," then hell, sign me up!

  • by tweakerbee (2426882) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:59PM (#40115901)
    Except that Google isn't profiting from Android *directly* as a mobile search platform. They have acknowledged this in their quarterly reports. FTFY
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:02PM (#40115921) Homepage Journal

    Slashdotters fetishize market share above all else as if it's the one sign of victory in business rather than profit and influence.

    Right. Everybody knows the true sign of victory in business is share price and how many workers they can shed.

    Unfortunate for Facebook, that they can't announce the layoff of 10,000 workers, because that would surely send the stock into the stratosphere.

    OK, OK, I'm just joking. The real sign of victory in business is successfully suing your competitors for IP infringement.

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:47PM (#40116269)

    You dont understand. Google does not really care about Android being more popular. What they do care about is whether Google gets to define what a smartphone is and can hence get Apple to offer their services on iPhones. They might make more money out of iPhones, but it is often because of Android, they get to make money of iPhones.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday May 25, 2012 @08:09PM (#40116481)

    That sounds a lot like Google's business plan for their search engine. Give it away for free, and make ads dirt cheap. But get enough ads and all those tiny sums turn into huge piles of cash.

    The point is that even IF Google continues to be the search engine of choice on Mobile (as it will on Android), they still make way less than they do on the desktop. Think of how much space on the desktop Google they devote to ads in the result. Now do a search on a mobile device - there is hardly any space left for ads anywhere after you display the results, perhaps one or two...

    So that's an order of magnitude reduction in ad revenue for Facebook and Google, even IF they remain sole search provider...

    But as we have seen from other past stories, Google being the primary search engine outside Android is possibly a thing that will pass. Already Siri acts as an intermediary that can pull results from things besides Google and certainly does not do advertising with Google. And I'm not just talking about Siri, if voice driving searches take off where does Google put the ads even if they are the ones doing the Siri like service on Android (it has something like it today).

    Even if you think about desktops, increasingly people are using iPads or netbooks - and THOSE have smaller screens as well, so even with a desktop browser you cannot display as many ads.

    All that is why it is hard to think that Facebook or Google can possibly maintain the revenue they enjoy now.

  • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay&gmail,com> on Friday May 25, 2012 @08:55PM (#40116857) Homepage Journal

    The funny thing is that Facebook is only having a hard time on mobiles because it choosed to.

    It can't be that hard to create a passable mobile interface for Facebook, even if you take some space for ads. Lots of people do create good interfaces for lots of different stuff, and there is nothing unique on FB about that.

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Friday May 25, 2012 @09:28PM (#40117113)

    Now do a search on a mobile device - there is hardly any space left for ads anywhere after you display the results, perhaps one or two...

    So that's an order of magnitude reduction in ad revenue for Facebook and Google, even IF they remain sole search provider...

    This would mean the top spot would pay an order or two more for the placement on mobile. One more flaw in your argument is Google is not paid per ad impression. Google is paid only if the ad is clicked. Google can collect lot more information about you on mobile than desktop, and can accurately determine which ad you are likely to click (in a less sinister way, which ad you would like). So if they work it out right, they might end up make more revenue on mobile than desktop (even considering only search, and ignoring all ad supported apps on the market)

  • by Deorus (811828) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:39AM (#40120037)

    Even indirectly, they profit more from iOS, a platform that they don't even waste resources developing. As far as business is concerned, Android is nonsense, they could be doing much better by partnering with Apple rather than antagonizing them.

  • by Deorus (811828) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @08:02AM (#40120175)

    Your post makes no sense. The only reason why they make any money from Apple at all is because Safari defaults to Google for search, nothing else; the interface doesn't change the slightest if you choose Yahoo or Bing instead. They aren't redefining anything, or influencing Apple in any way that's positive to them. As a matter of fact, they are actually antagonizing Apple, to the point that Siri has been implemented with Wolfram Alpha as its backend and Google Maps is slowly getting ditched in favor of both OpenStreetMaps and Apple's own maps, because Google's licensing is making it impossible for Apple to implement a decent Maps app.

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