There’s lots of talk these days about Facebook being the next Microsoft.  Is it?
The main question for Facebook, as it is with nearly every interesting web idea, is how they will make money.  CNN Money pointed out today that Facebook has taken an interesting route to profitability:  by opening up the doors and letting developers make applications that users want.  In some ways, Facebook is akin to a real-estate developer.  They own the property and are fostering other people to create the businesses on it.  The internal competition is clearly good for Facebook–when applications die because of errors or lameness, Facebook isn’t as fault.  Their brand is protected, while developers take all the risk and engage in the competition.

But that doesn’t mean that Facebook’s future is secure.  For one, there is a larger adult market that hasn’t quite jumped on board the Facebook bus.  As Arnold Kling points out, until the platform allows for a greater degree of control over what information is seen and shared, adult users aren’t likely to.   In addition, they still have not perfected their source of revenue (right now, it’s mostly ads).

But the future for Facebook is still rosy.  Even though Josh Harris left after a week, most people will stay, especially when Facebook becomes the home for email, text messaging, and Twitter.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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