NEWS ANALYSIS: Facebook is changing its business as it slowly starts to broaden its businesses beyond social networking into mobile services, content and even search. But will it work?
Facebook is changing
. The social network, which now has more than 1.1 billion users worldwide, is not just a place where folks can "like" status updates or post pictures of their weekend getaways.
Facebook has officially become a full-fledged online and mobile business designed to dramatically improve the company's standing among Web giants such as Google and Yahoo.
Facebook itself will acknowledge that its business is changing. The company has for the last several quarters been telling shareholders that it's now heavily focused on mobile and will continue to be that way for the long term.
Furthermore, Facebook has said that it wants to take a more active role in the online world and establish itself as a competitor in search and the surfacing of content. In other words, Facebook understands it can't stake its future growth strictly on social networking any longer.
Read on to find out about the many ways Facebook is changing its business:
1. It's mobile time
If Facebook has proved anything over the last several months, it's that mobile is central to the company's ability to be successful. And Facebook has made a strong push in that direction with improved mobile apps and its own platform, Facebook Home. The social network is no longer just a Web-based giant.
2. Mobile ads are everything
Mobile ads mean everything to Facebook right now. In fact, the company announced that revenue was up a whopping 38 percent last quarter to $1.46 billion, thanks to mobile-ad sales. Mobile-ad sales now represent 30 percent of all of Facebook's advertising revenue. If that doesn't say something about its business model, what does?
3. It's taking on Android
It's important to point out that the Facebook Home
application platform is not just a way to enhance the social element on Android, but a way to actually take on Google's software. Facebook wants to partner with hardware vendors and get Home running on as many products as possible. And in so doing, it'll undercut Android and Google+ and become the centerpiece of the mobile experience.
4. It's leaving the social-only focus behind
Facebook is no longer just about social networking. The company is in the photo-sharing business with Instagram, it's a game-platform provider for developers, and it's selling virtual goods to users. Facebook is really a marketplace. And it's using its social network roots to help grow that marketplace.