This morning Ellis Hamburger on The Verge asked Can Facebook bring the magic back? Below are 13 steps that can breath new inspiration to Facebook's ecosystem of users, developers and marketers while gaining investor trust.
- Smarter Filtering
Google's Circles were a great idea, but took too much time to impliment. Facebook lists can replicate this experience, but again, take a good deal of time to setup. Facebook is already categorizing and analyzing my social relationships. It's time Facebook used these insights to help me better filter my friends.
- Better Social Plug-ins
Facebook's social plug-ins are beginning to feel dated. I want to see this space go far beyond a Like button, enabling publishers and site owners to truly elevate the user experience. I want to be surprised and excited at the opportunity in this space rather than bored with our status quo.
- An Open Social Graph X Prize
Facebook collects fantastic data and somewhere in their data sites incredible opportunity. I want to see solutions for using this data to power off-Facebook experiences. I want to see a Facebook X Prize that rewards $10,000,000 to the most creative or usefull tools built on top of Facebook data.
- Content Search
We have been talking about a Facebook search engine for years, but I don't think this search engine needs to be a direct competitor with Google or Bing. I regularly remember seeing something on Facebook, but can't find it a week or a month later. Facebook content search would ping my network and return all results that were ever visible to me on Facebook.
- Creative Commons Licensing
Unfortunatley, we don't see about CC licensing anymore. While I would love to see the great resurrection of Flickr as a source of CC licensed imagery, Facebook has an incredible opportunity to bundle CC licensing into a content search solution. And I know a few hundred thousand bloggers who would welcome the complimentary content.
- User Revenue Opportunities
A great ecosystem allows everyone to benefit. I want to see Facebook develop opportunities that allow users to generate revenue for themselves. This could be through creating highly engaging content (think YouTube Channels), it could be through attracting premium messages, or through another concept the world has not yet discovered.
- Paid Content
Facebook has incredible infrastructure and an increidble amount of the great content. I want to see content (audio, pictures, videos etc) thrive in a social marketplace where we can easily access, purchase and connect with the content creators.
- Facebook Incubators
Facebook applications haven't seen success of late. I would love to see Facebook invest in nurturing talent that will build magical experiences within and beyond Facebook. This too could be a great X-Prize concept.
- A Second Brand
I would love to see Facebook launch a spin-off or two separate from Facebook.com. Just as Facebook has released multiple single-function iOS apps that duplicate features found in the Facebook app, I would like to see Facebook launch a second brand that offers a rich, secondary experience tied into, but not living on Facebook.com.
- User Advisory Congress
We the users, are Facebook's power. We elected Facebook by using their platform. Facebook should create an advisory congress that is representative of their users. to vote and decide on key issues including privacy, transparency etc. This will help Facebook as much as it helps their public.
- Education Innovation
Educators are lost when it comes to Facebook. After all, education is about shutting up and listening for hours at a time, not conversational engagement, right? There is awesome potential for social good in advancing education, particularly in the third world. I would love to see how Facebook could advance this sector - just because it could be great for humanity.
- Commerce Realization
Storefronts in Facebook have not been a resounding success. Delivering on direct-sales however, would have a significant financial upside for Facebook. I would love to see Facebook partner with a variety of commerce innovators to unlock the promise of social commerce.
We used to talk about Facebook as the crazy, zany start-up taking over the world. Now we talk about them as a social utility and as a stock price. We all know about Google's corporate culture, as well as their crazy visions for the future (glasses, self-driving cars, space elevators etc.).
Facebook has some brilliant people and a great internal culture, but we (their public) don't see this side of the company. I want to look to Facebook as a wild world of innovation, a place where magic happens. I want to look forward to reading news stories about Facebook. I want them to act a little bit like kids again.