The Loss of the Moment on Facebook – A Big Blow For Its Investors
Facebook said late last week that it was closing down Moments, its unique personalised app for sharing pictures with family and friends, in part due to a lack of use. The social networking site’s services will also be retired on February 25th. The announcement follows pressure from Mark Zuckerberg, the site’s chief executive, who spoke of his desire to make the company more social and less utilitarian.
Zuckerberg also spoke of his desire to make Facebook into a media platform, which would allow users to share content from their own social networks, such as with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, among others. Moments has been a unique opportunity for Facebook to present itself as a media and social platform company, and it had become one of its most popular apps. It allowed fans of celebrities to interact directly with them and also included third-party services such as messaging, uploading and sharing media from the main Facebook pages.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the company decided to shut it down rather suddenly and with little warning, despite having only issued one notice about the impending demise on Dec. 16th. It is believed that the suddenness of the shutdown is related to the launch of Facebook’s new profile checker, which will require users to sign up for a profile before they can access it. A recent study by metrics firm comScore shows that only 20% of Facebook’s new user growth last quarter was driven by Facebook’s new profile checker, which may force the company to rethink its strategy of pushing for a large number of new users to sign up every day. Some analysts believe that the loss of a popular service like moments will lead to a backlash against Facebook’s tactics of driving up its numbers at the cost of providing real value to its users.
Whatever the reason, the fate of moments app is now in doubt. Its last days are likely to be characterized by disorientation and confusion on the part of Facebook’s users, who will find themselves either trying to figure out how to continue using the app or simply deleting it altogether. As many people know, Facebook’s decision to shut down this popular app was prompted by complaints from advertisers that had to pay fees to the social networking giant in the past for using the app to market their products. While it is true that Facebook may have paid for using the app in the past, it is also true that the platform itself is free for anyone to use.
Will the loss of moments cause a shift in Facebook’s business strategies? No one at the company yet knows, but one prominent shareholder at the social network has some interesting theories. According to this person, the company may be forced to reinvent itself to stay relevant in a world where social networks have completely taken the world by storm. The investor goes on to speculate that the company could re-launch an app focused on memories within a network like Facebook to compete with the likes of Twitter and Google. In this scenario, Facebook could provide users with a visual means of sharing memories. If the company successfully captures the market for this purpose, it would follow that the loss of moments on Facebook would be a big loss for its investors.
If you believe that the loss of moments on Facebook will force Facebook into a higher level of consciousness, one way to achieve this would be to re-invent the browsing experience around Facebook. In this scenario, Facebook would add two features to its website: a circle that will serve as a home base for all navigation around Facebook; and a toolbar that will allow the browser to scroll through Facebook’s timeline, horizontally, vertically, or any other motion you might want to adjust the viewing angle for. By adding these two features, Facebook would become a better platform for browsing through your recent activity and connecting with your network. However, one thing is for sure: the loss of moment will be a big blow for Facebook fans everywhere. The next circle will begin after the recent acquisition of Instagram.