Here’s what I am getting from the ILM presentation by Chamath Palihapitiya, VP of Product Marketing & Operations, Facebook:
Facebook = big:
55 million active users
250,000 new users per day
One year from now 200 million people
Greater than entire sum of paid and unpaid usage of newspapers in 2006
70 billion page views/month
1 trillion page views per year by end of 2007
40 page views per user per day
Users are already leveraging the social network to build awareness. He offers the example of promoting an event like a Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser via your Facebook social network.
Facebook has an easy way for businesses to create a highly functional webpage that leverages all of the functionality of Facebook and the companies who are developing applications for Facebook’s platform. Every business can have a page and have a conversation with it’s customers. You can make a page in five minutes and add all of your data.
Once you have a page you can use Social Ads to broadcast your message
You decide who you want to target based on Facebook having highly reliable data on its users. Some examples of how you can target your ads:
And the ads can ride with a referral from someone in your social network.
And using Facebook’s Beacon system the social messages/ads can run all over the Web.
So the problem we always had with InsiderPages is that we were trying to bolt a social network onto local search. FB already has the social network and now they are bolting local search on top of that. A much better way to go in my opinion.
If Facebook’s business pages take off I believe they have solved a big part of local search by creating a highly reliable credible referral network for local businesses. The key point that Chamath makes is that people on Facebook are who they say they are so these referrals are highly likely to be genuine.
Assuming it’s a Facebook world (and that’s a big assumption) my gut says that if this thing works it will be much more effective than any IYP or smaller social local referral site like Yelp.
What’s their marketing plan to sign up small businesses? I am interpreting Chamath here but even though he’s not saying this it sounds like he’s pretty confident that businesses will take to this program virally and succeed where other viral programs for small biz did not. That said he is also talking the partner thing so I wouldn’t be surprised if they cut a deal with the big Yellow Pages players to distribute their advertisers via the Facebook network.
Everyone in the audience is clapping for Facebook but if I were them I would change the “cl” to a “cr”.