Soon after Facebook launched their platform, MySpace announced their intention to launch a similar platform. Additionally, LinkedIn and Bebo followed suit. So once the other social networks launch a platform, what is Facebook’s competitive advantage? There are a number of advantages that Facebook has including their photo tagging, a cleaner design, their news feed and a first-mover advantage. The most important thing that they have in my own perspective is the highest concentration of my personal social connections. I’m surely not signing up for Bebo and none of my friends are going to decide to suddenly go back to MySpace unless they come up with some revolutionary product that blows Facebook out of the water but I don’t see that happening. So do I think that the MySpace Platform will stunt Facebook’s growth? Maybe. I’m not MySpace’s primary demographic. MySpace has a stronghold on middle schoolers and high schoolers but that is rapidly changing. If MySpace can develop their platform quickly enough, there is a chance that they can maintain their fairly dominant position. For me though, there’s no way I’ll switch over to MySpace. Robert Scoble commented Friday on what he thinks is the only social network that can beat Facebook: Orkut.
I have to agree with Scoble. If Orkut did a redesign there is the potential for Google to create a pretty solid competitor. They already have most of the information about people that I already interact with and Orkut already has a large presence. All I can say is that if they intend to release a competing platform, they better do it soon. That may be a little challenging given their current interest in revolutionizing the wireless industry. Whatever the case may be, Facebook is not in the clear yet and there are a lot of competitors that are going to try to mimic their success. Soon enough open platforms and social news feeds will become common and Facebook will yet again have to take actions to differentiate themselves from the rest. I wonder what they are up to. Got any ideas?