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Jack Rice

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  • Facebook's Resilience Is An Important Reason To Own It Here [View article]
    The current metrics support author's view.

    In November, Facebook's share of overall desktop and mobile Internet time rose M/M to 16.9% and mobile Internet time (excluding Instagram and Whatsapp) to 21%.

    Also, engagement data shows that Facebook's share of mobile minutes (excluding tablets) at 21% compared to ~3% (from ~5% Nov. 2013) for Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp and Snapchat combined. November growth, including Instagram and Whatsapp, was 20% Nov/Nov (up 23% Oct/Oct). Facebook’s U.S. minutes are more than ~8x the minutes spent on the competitive services above. The only negative trend is that desktop minutes declined from 12% to 11% Nov/Nov.

    And regardless of how you read it viz-à-vis Twitter, Instagram's 300M MAUs from 200M in March is phenomenal. JP Morgan has Instagram's earnings modeled at $168M/$359M for 2015/21016, which they say is conservative. Q3 Facebook ~1.35B MAUs, August WhatsApp 600M MAUs, and November Messenger had passed 500M users.

    These metrics reflect FB's unique and massive scale. I expect mobile share gains to continue.
    Dec 16, 2014. 02:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Millennials Eventually Grow Into Facebook Users? [View article]
    The privacy issue with Facebook is not privacy per se, because you can adjust your privacy settings to make only your presence on Facebook public and with all your activities private. I think that's fair enough. There are two problems here: one is that privacy settings are frustratingly complex. I don't know if this is because Facebook wants to encourage everybody to be as public as possible to the extent that timelines are public but can only be posted to by friends, or because users have complex needs -- they want some areas private and some areas public, or they want different levels of privacy for different friends. The other problem is how to monetize FB's MAUs without alienating them. Zuck has indicated, in discussing a way to access FB on the job via "Facebook at Work," that the first priority is to get users and worry about how to monetize them later. It reminds me of the real estate sales maxim that the first priority is listings.

    One insight about Facebook is gained from its preference for using real names. It comes from FB's original mission of reuniting old friends and classmates. Obviously, using an alias would be self-defeating. What Facebook is saying by this preference is, that while we may have parts of our lives we only want to share with a particular audience, for most of us, most of our lives are open books to those we care about -- for some, even open books to the public. (By the way, I say "preference, because although real names are officially required, aliases are tolerated unless there are complaints.)

    I have a small group of friends and family. I don't get into politics with them -- there are enough outside blogs for that, or I'll post on the timelines of those I can talk politics to. Which reminds me of another privacy glitch. If you post on another's timeline, that post may be set to being visible to "friends of friends," which means the friends you wanted not to see the post will see it anyway, and you must ask the friend you posted to to change his privacy settings, a pain in the neck.

    But all-in-all, Facebook is everybody's comfort zone, and a useful one. Of course, the will always be the Next Big Thing in youth-inhabited social media, but Facebook, as far as I know, is unique in that amongst top management, the leader is also the youngest. I'm content to believe that Zuck has at least as much insight into the youth market as we do and a vision of the future of social media as acute as ours; and when that Next Big Thing comes along, FB will have a piece of it. It reminds me of Microsoft's insurance policy during Bill Gates' heyday: when the Next Big Thing comes along, buy it.
    Dec 15, 2014. 02:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Millennials Eventually Grow Into Facebook Users? [View article]
    And what might that problem be? I've had friends and family announce the loss of loved ones (including pets) on Facebook. I've done it. It's a life event. So what?
    Dec 15, 2014. 12:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Markets: Sentiment And Lame Thinking Are Currently In The Driver's Seat [View article]
    Unleash Chiang Kai-shek! Oh, wait . . .
    Dec 14, 2014. 05:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Facebook Lost Generation Y [View article]
    Yeah, that's definitely an awkward situation. FB gives you different ways of dealing with this, including unfriending without really unfriending. Here's a link:

    You can also have more than one identity on Facebook, but that can lead to embarrassing mistakes if you get the them mixed up. One easy way of avoiding this is having different accounts on different browsers. Say, one account on Internet Explorer, another on Chrome and another on Firefox. The different browsers have separate histories and cookies, so you can use a browser for each identity you want. This doesn't mean you need to be fake. You can call yourself John Smith on one browser and John W. Smith on another. Or one browser can be your Clark Kent and another your Superman and still another your Dostoevsky. Or different identities on different devices.

    What most folks like is a consistent environment across-the-board. If you like FB except for having obligatory friends, then the above are pretty easy solutions. That said, for many others changing environments and functionalities is refreshing. In that case, since I'm long FB I strongly suggest Instagram.
    Dec 11, 2014. 06:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Facebook Lost Generation Y [View article]
    Lol. True, Wilfred. Depends on what kind of friends you have. ;)

    It's no problem at all having different platforms for your conventional and party selves (or even multiple identities on FB). Anyway, eventually, if we're normal, we'll leave self-absorption and realize how fleeting time is and want to keep up with our real friends and loved ones. I think that's how most of the world is, and FB is for them.
    Dec 11, 2014. 04:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Facebook Lost Generation Y [View article]
    If you have friends and family you want to keep in touch with as a group, on the long term, then you'll do it on FB. If you don't, then you won't.

    Meanwhile, FB will grow beyond jaded American teens.
    Dec 11, 2014. 01:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Facebook Lost Generation Y [View article]
    Not very well researched. Yes, we know FB is losing teen demo. But a categorical assertion that "has lost" the teen demo needs a citation. The author seems to be making an op-ed case, by conjecture, that 1) teens friend hundreds, and 2) they're into "celebrity". FB isn't about collecting names or about celebrity but about staying current with friends and family. Sure, some teens seek celebrity and measure it by how many "friends" they have. But not most. Most teens are as selective about their friends as adults. If they don't want a mountain of status updates, then they can just unfollow without unfriending.

    But functionality is beside the point, since FB can be whatever the user wants it to be. The flight from FB by teens -- many but by no means all -- is quite simple: teens don't want to be anywhere near parents or adults. In the beginning, FB was a kind of running school yearbook. But when parents and adult relatives arrived, teens were put on the spot about not friending them. So, they went elsewhere, where the grownups wouldn't follow. That's all there is to it. It's about sociology, not technology.

    But what's often forgotten is that teens get older quickly and don't need a clubhouse closed to grownups, because they've become grownups themselves. And they will inhabit FB and friend their relatives and the people they want to keep touch with. That's the FB core, and as long as there are teens growing into adults, that core will flourish.
    Dec 11, 2014. 01:06 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Prices Will Rise Based On Fundamentals And Geopolitics [View article]
    The current pricing is a war of attrition by OPEC against shale oil producers. Shale oil represents a huge threat to OPEC by making North America oil self-sufficient. For OPEC to prevent this, oil prices must drop and remain low enough to make shale oil uneconomical to produce. Having a "strong balance sheet" will not avail against relentless low prices. Being a war of attrition, it will take time for OPEC to drive out the shale oil competition, if it can. Prices will not rise significantly until OPEC gives up the fight.
    Dec 6, 2014. 06:09 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook: A Gold Mine Exposed By A Rift [View article]
    Ah yes, in our great land of appetites, the porn industry leads the way.
    Dec 5, 2014. 03:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook: A Gold Mine Exposed By A Rift [View article]
    Billdrummer isn't alone "in the vast investment wilderness" on this one. This is indeed one of the best SA articles I've ever seen. Comprehensive, lucid, focused on the business potential, it's how SA articles should be: knowledge that equips us to make smart investments.

    And it left the "vision thing" (pun unavoidable) to comments like mine.
    Nov 27, 2014. 03:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook: A Gold Mine Exposed By A Rift [View article]
    Yeah, it's funny to see old space movies using CRT screens and analog dials.

    We're far beyond those (cell phones = tricorders?), yet we've way underachieved in space exploration. We're bogged down in a self-absorbed world of mediocrity, though not if Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Mars One have anything to do with it. There are still heroes.

    One day we'll get there, and thanks to VR we'll all share the experience.
    Nov 27, 2014. 03:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook: A Gold Mine Exposed By A Rift [View article]
    I don't think VR is a "next big thing" fad. It's as much a part of human evolution as space flight. Perhaps even more. It's not hyperbole to say that it will radically and permanently change individual behavior and reorder society.

    There was a recent New Yorker cartoon. One guy says to another guy wearing Google Glass, "I'm holding out for Google Contacts."

    From goggles to glasses to contacts to implants. Every human will be able, at will, to change from his own vision to the vision of something/someone else.

    And not just vision. The omega is our real-time living experiences, our perceptions, globally networked. It's a brave new world, but it's inevitable.

    Of course, right now this is way science fiction, but it IS the future. Google and Facebook and others understand this. They're riding a wave that will never break.
    Nov 27, 2014. 01:52 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook At Work: Will It Work? [View article]
    It all depends on how well Facebook explains Work to employers. Most company Intranets are crap. FB at Work could offer a turnkey solution to a better functioning intranet. Servers are separate, with no cross-pollenation. Access, privacy and posting policy can be tightly controlled. This is what FB will have to convince businesses.

    This is a defensive move. It's akin to the China situation. Employers and China regard FB as subversive. The burden is on FB to prove is not subversive. Nor hacked.

    I recall, when the first PCs were introduced to China by IBM. it was a grand coup, because instead of being subversive, which was China's first reflex, a PC was provided all the local busybodies to keep tabs on everybody in that far-flung country more efficiently. This has nothing to do with what Facebook at Work proposes, just that whether Work or FB's breaks through corporate management and China, respectively, depends on finding an approach to SELLING them. Both are classic "the sale begins when the customer says no" cases. No doubt FB is a geekocracy with lots of product ideas. The question is whether it's also a sales force.
    Nov 21, 2014. 05:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook At Work: Will It Work? [View article]
    LinkedIn "professional activities" consist of job hunting. Work has nothing to do with job hunting. The two do not compete.

    As for making it hard for small entrepreneurs to "reach their followers," there's nothing hard about clicking Like/Follow on a business's FB page. If you mean making it hard to spam users, then yes, I guess so.
    Nov 21, 2014. 04:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment