A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Shakespeare was onto something back in 1600 AD, when he penned that famous Romeo and Juliet
line. Its import intimates that its not the name of things that matter, it what those things really are. With the launch of Facebook's "Graph Search
" on January 15, 2013, it's important to discern that FB's answer to a 'search engine,' is really it's portal to mobile advertising.
Mark Zuckerberg and his team have been working relentlessly to capitalize on their 1 billion users, and attract major advertisers ever since its May 2012 IPO launched with lackluster results -- and dropping more than 50 percent to a record low of $17.55 on September 4, 2012
Quick to couch his graph search
launch message in altruistic hyperbole, Zuckerberg quips that "Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected" and "we give people the tools to map out their relationships with people and things they care about." Yet, you don't have to go far to understand that Zuckerberg is beholding to his Board of Directors on the micro level and his shareholders on the macro level. And a substantial ROI is required for the world's largest social network to continue to thrive in the 21st Century.
Building a search engine that initially searches its "users" versus the "Web" is a blatant move on Zuckerberg's part to use those searches to define user preferences and then offer them up to mobile advertisers. And while Zuckerberg is known for taking two steps forward before taking one step back, he has already assured his users that his graph search
was designed with "privacy in mind" where each searcher will only see results curtailed to them. What he purposely failed to mention were the thousands of brands queing up for dibs on that same data.
In 2010, with the release of the graphic novel, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks
," this satire follows Zuckerberg's journey from the hallowed halls of academia where he callously labeled his followers "dumb f*cks" to the techie haven of the Silicon Valley -- with always one goal in mind -- to rule the Web! When only at a half billion "dumb f*cks" at the time, here Z-Man (aka Mr. Zuckerberg) is lampooned liking every object on the planet, in essence to lay claim for future advertising revenues.Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel
Previously, I indicated that FB's graph search
will initially search its users versus the Web. That's true. But Z-Man is also hedging his bets. In the instances when its search results come up empty from one's followers, it will be collaborating with Microsoft's Bing to dig deeper. Drawing a line in sand with Google (the Grand Daddy of search engines), when "Graph Search" can't find what you're looking for, it's Bing to the rescue. The results in those cases will be drawn from the Web and morphed into one's social graph over time.Time Magazine's
Harry McCracken in his report, titled "Facebook's Graph Search Is the Future of Facebook," also connected the dots when it came to Facebook's lucrative advertising goal. He notes, "if it takes off, and people start using Facebook to find restaurants, doctors, travel destinations and much more, it’s tough to imagine a scenario in which the site doesn’t make enormous amounts of money from precisely-targeted advertising. It could rival Google as a money machine on a level it hasn’t done to date."
With the "Internet of Things
" fast becoming a reality, Facebook's timing couldn't be any better. Also called "semantic technology" and what some have labeled the "new industrial revolution," the IOT is where wireless networks of objects are created using RFID, Bluetooth, GPS, and other technologies, working in tandem with cloud computing environments, Web portals, and back-end systems that will allow our 'things' to talk to each.
And the Chinese are currently leading the Western World
in the advancement of this technology. So perhaps Mr. Zuckerberg would be better served in calling his new search engine what it really is -- a means to capitalize on his "dumb f*ck" followers and their preferences, which will eventually become attached to everything else around them. After all, a rose by any other name could garner exponential ROI in the very foreseeable future! And for Z-Man, how sweet will that be?Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel