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Mobile Guru
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I am individual investor with over 35 years investing experience. I have traded almost everything you can over that time. I prefer investing in microcaps as there can be above average rewards along with higher risk. The areas I follow very closely are: Technology, Intellectual Property, Precious... More
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  • Will the Facebook Tablet come to market? 2 comments
    Nov 19, 2010 11:51 AM | about stocks: GOOG, MSFT, AAPL
    Recently while attending a conference in South America one of the presenters casually mentioned the possibility of Facebook coming out with a tablet. A lot of people are coming out with tablets but I had never heard of one specifically from Facebook. After scouring the internet I could not find much discussion along these lines at all but the idea has intrigued me all week and I thought I would put some ideas out there. First let recognize that there is really only one company I know who has been able to be highly successful on both the hardware and software side of business at the same time. That obliviously would be Apple with the iPod and iTunes combination. iTunes did $4B in revenue last year. Other companies such as Microsoft tried it with the Zune and I think we know how that ended. Google has stayed on their side of the line and I don't think anyone will disagree on how well they have done.

    When I stop and think about Facebook having their own tablet a quote from one of my favorite people come to mind. "Then he got an idea. An awful idea. The Grinch had a wonderful, awful idea."  On one hand lets look at some stats. There are over 400M Facebook users today and it will probably double users within a few years. At that time almost 1 out of 8 people on the planet will be members of Facebook. That is staggering. What if there was a way they all could be connected all the time to each other? What a Mobile Advertising platform that would be.

    My first thoughts on what the tablet would be like came up with a list of what the tablet can not be like. It can not be expensive like an iPad or as large as an iPad.

    Next I came up with qualities of what it would need to be. First it needs to be on its own network that anyone can access for free anywhere in the world 24/7. It needs to have a very simple user interface that allows people to check Facebook for updates and post updates quickly. Low power would be a plus. Small enough to carry easily but bigger than most cell phones. Lets throw in a camera because they are almost free these days anyways.

    Then I came up with perhaps my best idea yet. It needs to be free. Of course free in the Mobile Advertising world means different things to different people. This is the ultimate advertising platform in the world and has potential to reach 1 in 8 people in the future. What is that worth to advertisers? Hard to say but it is a huge number with more zeros than billion that is for sure. Lets say every major company who wanted to advertise on the "uTab", as I have named it, pays $100M for ads over the next two years. Could I find 20 companies that would do that? How about the ones I put on the back of the cover? Would Nike put their name on it for $10M? Perhaps. The possibilities are intriguing.

    Some of the ideas mentioned above will be dismissed very quickly but does a worldwide free network seem completely impossible in a few years? How about a low cost handheld device that is inexpensive enough to be given away for free? Anyone get a free cell phone lately? The bottom line is people who have been offline one of the first things they do when they get access to the internet is check Facebook. How valuable to them would be a device that allowed them to stay connected for free?  From a Mobile Advertising perspective the opportunities are endless and being connected 24/7 to 1 in every 8 people is hard to imagine.

    Disclosure: No Positions
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  • thebart
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I've been "scouring" the internet for the facebook tablet too... wondering if it's really already happening? I see a site at facebooktablet.com, but I don't see any announcement about it.. so maybe it's nothing. I am hoping it will happen though.. It may sound silly, but even though facebook is integrated into every device, you still can't watch facebook video or play games like zynga on any of these devices, so if facebook makes a tablet that does this, I would buy on day one!
    4 Jan 2011, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • Mobile Guru
    , contributor
    Comments (141) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Facebook Is Hard At Work On A Tablet-Optimized Experience

     

    MG Siegler
    1 hour ago

     

    “We need to make a tablet version of Facebook. It’s something we’re working on right now.”

     

    That was Facebook CTO Bret Taylor speaking to me yesterday in a sit down following his one-on-one interview on stage at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco.

     

    Now, before you get all excited, note that Taylor is not specifically saying that the social giant will make a native iPad app. Instead, he’s saying that there’s needs to be a better version of the service for tablets in general. Having said that, he didn’t exactly rule out a native iPad app either in our chat.

     

    “Long term we think a lot of apps will be written in HTML5,” Taylor said, echoing some of the thoughts he shared on stage. He also talked about making sure that all of the various channels for Facebook data and interaction that exist today on the web transfer over to all the various platforms that Facebook is on. Again, this is in-line with his statements about focusing on streamlining the product line in 2011.

     

    In terms of tablets specifically, Taylor noted that “we’ve been a little cautious about it” saying that the team who work on projects like that have remained relatively small and somewhat fragmented as they’re working on all different kinds of device experiences (though CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t consider the iPad to be a mobile device).

     

    “The iPad was a casualty of that internally,” Taylor continued sounding as if he’s well aware of the intense desire for a native iPad experience. But in the coming year, resources will be shifting around and more focus will be put on mobile and tablets, Taylor said.

     

    “We just want it to be great,” he said of the tablet experience. When I suggested that the Facebook site itself already runs pretty well on the iPad through Safari, he agreed but added, “We could do more with click-targets. Certain elements are very small.” And that’s one thing that Facebook is working on internally at the moment. And I suspect we may see the result of that work relatively soon.
    26 Jan 2011, 07:53 PM Reply Like
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