What will Yahoo and Microsoft do? Is Zuckerberg scared?

So, the conversation in the hallway here at the Nokia conference that I’m now at is “what will Yahoo and Microsoft do?” Followed quickly by “what will Facebook do?” Or, “is Zuckerberg scared?”

During the last panel, which funny enough was about developers and social networks, they asked the audience which social networks people used. Facebook? Nearly every hand went up. MySpace? 1/3rd of the hands went up? The rest? Very few hands went up.

So, Facebook is STILL in the driver’s seat. Or, as Erick Schonfield says over on TechCrunch: “Not so fast Mike.”

What is the best answer for what Zuckerberg will do that I’ve heard? “Embrace and extend.” Facebook should come out and say “we’re supporting Open Social too.” But then they should say “but we have a new ‘version 2.0′ platform to announce today that goes a LOT further than Open Social goes.”

That would take all the wind out of these sails.

As to Yahoo and Microsoft? Well, I talked with an executive from Yahoo today and he said he had nothing to announce. Translation: we have no clue. If they had a clue they would have had all guns blazing today. Now their choice is to join up. The industry support is too strong behind Open Social. Or, they could make a deal with Facebook on their “embrace and extend” strategy.

What will Microsoft do? Who cares. They bought the inventory on Facebook. They are safe for now by NOT having a developer strategy. I think that’s stupid long term, but heck, my Microsoft stock is going up so who cares?

50 thoughts on “What will Yahoo and Microsoft do? Is Zuckerberg scared?

  1. Microsoft’s investment of $240 million into Facebook last week should be enough evidence on the future of Facebook… Get ready for a .NET Facebook with no support for other systems.

  2. Microsoft’s investment of $240 million into Facebook last week should be enough evidence on the future of Facebook… Get ready for a .NET Facebook with no support for other systems.

  3. “Google’s offerings other than search have been unqualified failures.”

    I wouldn’t use the word “failure”. GMail is better than Yahoo mail (I have both). HotMail? Does that still exist? Google Earth/maps is great. Local.Google.com is great. SketchUp is great. YouTube is AMAZING and will be getting better. The problem is indeed, as you suggest, monetizing the non-search stuff. Today’s world seems to be all about “pay for it through advertising because people don’t do subscription services” They gotta figure out how to change that. Personally, I use exactly one subscription service on the web: Flickr. I has two key features: 1) Best is class quality (arguably) 2) inexpensive. Maybe they are a good model to look at.

  4. “Google’s offerings other than search have been unqualified failures.”

    I wouldn’t use the word “failure”. GMail is better than Yahoo mail (I have both). HotMail? Does that still exist? Google Earth/maps is great. Local.Google.com is great. SketchUp is great. YouTube is AMAZING and will be getting better. The problem is indeed, as you suggest, monetizing the non-search stuff. Today’s world seems to be all about “pay for it through advertising because people don’t do subscription services” They gotta figure out how to change that. Personally, I use exactly one subscription service on the web: Flickr. I has two key features: 1) Best is class quality (arguably) 2) inexpensive. Maybe they are a good model to look at.

  5. as the coolness wears off, they get bored with it and move on

    It happens with everything, toys, TV shows, fashion, cars, movies, clubs, gadgets, video games…just in software you have an extra layer of marketing twerks and gullible press telling you how your company must jump onto the latest cool toy to somehow stay relevant.

    After the cool dies down, and people still cling to, that’s more likened to obbbesssssive Trekkie behavior, than rational thinking.

    Everything Google (outside of search) is just as big of failure as Microsoft, just with boatloads of cash, no one pays attention. I predict a similar path here, well maybe it will be a hit in Brazil or something, linking all the “containers” into one big “Floodtudo” spam magnet.

  6. as the coolness wears off, they get bored with it and move on

    It happens with everything, toys, TV shows, fashion, cars, movies, clubs, gadgets, video games…just in software you have an extra layer of marketing twerks and gullible press telling you how your company must jump onto the latest cool toy to somehow stay relevant.

    After the cool dies down, and people still cling to, that’s more likened to obbbesssssive Trekkie behavior, than rational thinking.

    Everything Google (outside of search) is just as big of failure as Microsoft, just with boatloads of cash, no one pays attention. I predict a similar path here, well maybe it will be a hit in Brazil or something, linking all the “containers” into one big “Floodtudo” spam magnet.

  7. “The social networking pie is being cut up today. By the time Microsoft and Yahoo get around to being interested there might not be any more pie to split up”

    You do realize that Yahoo/Live instant messaging is the overwhelmingly dominant IM system today, right? They could very easily build on that.

    Google’s offerings other than search have been unqualified failures. GMail has minimal adoption compared to Yahoo and Hotmail. GoogleTalk is an also-ran. Google checkbook (does that even still exist?) failed miserably at killing PayPal. Google Video was a disaster, forcing Google to pay billions for YouTube, and they *still* haven’t figured out how to monetize that (despite your declarations months ago that “universal search” did that).

    As for these social network sites:
    MySpace is already past its prime.
    FaceBook will be past its prime next year.

    These social web networks are things that young folk flock to to be “cool” (it’s funny that “cool” is equivalent to “lemmings”), but as the coolness wears off, they get bored with it and move on.

  8. “The social networking pie is being cut up today. By the time Microsoft and Yahoo get around to being interested there might not be any more pie to split up”

    You do realize that Yahoo/Live instant messaging is the overwhelmingly dominant IM system today, right? They could very easily build on that.

    Google’s offerings other than search have been unqualified failures. GMail has minimal adoption compared to Yahoo and Hotmail. GoogleTalk is an also-ran. Google checkbook (does that even still exist?) failed miserably at killing PayPal. Google Video was a disaster, forcing Google to pay billions for YouTube, and they *still* haven’t figured out how to monetize that (despite your declarations months ago that “universal search” did that).

    As for these social network sites:
    MySpace is already past its prime.
    FaceBook will be past its prime next year.

    These social web networks are things that young folk flock to to be “cool” (it’s funny that “cool” is equivalent to “lemmings”), but as the coolness wears off, they get bored with it and move on.

  9. You know what? If you’re over 25, what are you using facebook for? If you’re over 23 what are you doing still using Myspace? Google and Microsoft just don’t want to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the monolithic phenomenons that might flame out as soon as the luster and cool factor wears off then what?

  10. You know what? If you’re over 25, what are you using facebook for? If you’re over 23 what are you doing still using Myspace? Google and Microsoft just don’t want to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the monolithic phenomenons that might flame out as soon as the luster and cool factor wears off then what?

  11. “So I hope Yahoo/MSFT offer something to compete against it. I would only hope for Yahoo, but Yahoo sucks at coming up with APIs, so they’ll need Microsoft’s help.”

    Whoa–reality check time. No matter how bad Yahoo might be at coding, surely, they couldn’t possibly be worse than MSFT.

    OpenSocial: 1) helps the user 2) helps my Google stock 3) leaves Facebook and MSFT castrated and twisting in the wind. Saying “no” to Google will be like saying “no” to HTML. You won’t be able to “opt-out”, in the end.

  12. “So I hope Yahoo/MSFT offer something to compete against it. I would only hope for Yahoo, but Yahoo sucks at coming up with APIs, so they’ll need Microsoft’s help.”

    Whoa–reality check time. No matter how bad Yahoo might be at coding, surely, they couldn’t possibly be worse than MSFT.

    OpenSocial: 1) helps the user 2) helps my Google stock 3) leaves Facebook and MSFT castrated and twisting in the wind. Saying “no” to Google will be like saying “no” to HTML. You won’t be able to “opt-out”, in the end.

  13. I can say or state what Yahoo might do and not do because I in fact offered a social platform product idea to Yahoo and they have yet to move their collective asses on getting moving..

    Imagine a mobile version of Pipes in that a mobile user can create a Widget that exists on a website but the mobile user can access. Now imagine being able to with that Widget to integrate with device functions such as the camera…Now imagine being able to create that Wdiget with just html, css, and javascript :)

    Actually its a re-application of concepts in the Yahoo Go version 1.x design except done in a correct manner this time instead of goofed up. Given the large difference in perfromance of Yahoo Go(1.x good, 2.x dismal), you would think Yahoo INC might wise up a little.

    Yahoo INC secreter sauce inthe Yahoo Go rewrite woud be in as far as a mobile ajax runtiem to insert mobiel ads based on the mobile user experience and those ads and revenue would be independent of the search engine performance.

    I can say given the polical blocking that the Connected Life Division of Yaho Inc does concerning any solution that uses tools, libraries and etc form foss and open source that Yahoo INC will do exactly nothing unfortunately..

    Fred Grott
    Mobile Expert
    http://www.jrolelr.com/sharme

  14. I can say or state what Yahoo might do and not do because I in fact offered a social platform product idea to Yahoo and they have yet to move their collective asses on getting moving..

    Imagine a mobile version of Pipes in that a mobile user can create a Widget that exists on a website but the mobile user can access. Now imagine being able to with that Widget to integrate with device functions such as the camera…Now imagine being able to create that Wdiget with just html, css, and javascript :)

    Actually its a re-application of concepts in the Yahoo Go version 1.x design except done in a correct manner this time instead of goofed up. Given the large difference in perfromance of Yahoo Go(1.x good, 2.x dismal), you would think Yahoo INC might wise up a little.

    Yahoo INC secreter sauce inthe Yahoo Go rewrite woud be in as far as a mobile ajax runtiem to insert mobiel ads based on the mobile user experience and those ads and revenue would be independent of the search engine performance.

    I can say given the polical blocking that the Connected Life Division of Yaho Inc does concerning any solution that uses tools, libraries and etc form foss and open source that Yahoo INC will do exactly nothing unfortunately..

    Fred Grott
    Mobile Expert
    http://www.jrolelr.com/sharme

  15. Mr. Scoble,

    Maybe I’m just not understanding your post completely, but are you actually promoting the “Embrace, Extend, EXTERMINATE!” behavior that was one of the things that made Microsoft so disliked in the past?

  16. Mr. Scoble,

    Maybe I’m just not understanding your post completely, but are you actually promoting the “Embrace, Extend, EXTERMINATE!” behavior that was one of the things that made Microsoft so disliked in the past?

  17. Bob: interesting that you call it shallow, but it’s based on what CEOs of companies are telling me and you offer no alternative analysis. So, it might be shallow but it’s better than anything else out there so far.

    The social networking pie is being cut up today. By the time Microsoft and Yahoo get around to being interested there might not be any more pie to split up.

  18. Bob: interesting that you call it shallow, but it’s based on what CEOs of companies are telling me and you offer no alternative analysis. So, it might be shallow but it’s better than anything else out there so far.

    The social networking pie is being cut up today. By the time Microsoft and Yahoo get around to being interested there might not be any more pie to split up.

  19. Scoble, as usual, your “analysis” (and I use that term loosely) is so shallow as to be beyond useless.

    Not that I’m in any position to do any analysis myself. :p

    I really don’t care about this “social web” stuff, but since competition is always preferrable since it drives innovation, I wouldn’t want Google’s api to crush everything else. So I hope Yahoo/MSFT offer something to compete against it. I would only hope for Yahoo, but Yahoo sucks at coming up with APIs, so they’ll need Microsoft’s help. That’s assuming Microsoft gives a damn. They might “embrace” Google’s api for Live.com stuff, then “extend” it themselves. Or Google might extend it for their own purposes as well. Whatever…

  20. Scoble, as usual, your “analysis” (and I use that term loosely) is so shallow as to be beyond useless.

    Not that I’m in any position to do any analysis myself. :p

    I really don’t care about this “social web” stuff, but since competition is always preferrable since it drives innovation, I wouldn’t want Google’s api to crush everything else. So I hope Yahoo/MSFT offer something to compete against it. I would only hope for Yahoo, but Yahoo sucks at coming up with APIs, so they’ll need Microsoft’s help. That’s assuming Microsoft gives a damn. They might “embrace” Google’s api for Live.com stuff, then “extend” it themselves. Or Google might extend it for their own purposes as well. Whatever…

  21. Facebook is STILL in the driver’s seat

    Only for the tech folks? Myspace has about 5x as many wers and developers are going to chase users.

    I don’t think Facebook has much “user loyalty” – it was just the best thing going.

    I’d guess Facebook has corked that expensive champagne and are burning a lot of midnight oil deciding how to proceed. Your suggestion of coming up with “even better” open social environments is a very good one.

  22. Facebook is STILL in the driver’s seat

    Only for the tech folks? Myspace has about 5x as many wers and developers are going to chase users.

    I don’t think Facebook has much “user loyalty” – it was just the best thing going.

    I’d guess Facebook has corked that expensive champagne and are burning a lot of midnight oil deciding how to proceed. Your suggestion of coming up with “even better” open social environments is a very good one.

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  24. And it bubbles on…eventually the ‘social hype’ will phase out, and as already reported, 250 million (and counting) abandoned blogs.

    Facebook worked on a small community scale, but now that it has morphed into the larger space, like pure democracy, it crumbles. Google is just wrapping a ‘social sticker’ around an ad platform, social translated ‘spam opt in’, push comes of age.

    Yahoo will panic, and barf out something in the ‘Yahoo Mail Beta foreverville’, and spend too much on some dorky company. Microsoft, who shouldn’t even bother to care, sticking to software — but of course they won’t and will spend too much on some dinky company, or develop their own, laughable offering.

    After awhile the fad will have moved on, only sticking around for the professional scammy evangelists and MLM types, the narcissists and the first-time curious.

  25. And it bubbles on…eventually the ‘social hype’ will phase out, and as already reported, 250 million (and counting) abandoned blogs.

    Facebook worked on a small community scale, but now that it has morphed into the larger space, like pure democracy, it crumbles. Google is just wrapping a ‘social sticker’ around an ad platform, social translated ‘spam opt in’, push comes of age.

    Yahoo will panic, and barf out something in the ‘Yahoo Mail Beta foreverville’, and spend too much on some dorky company. Microsoft, who shouldn’t even bother to care, sticking to software — but of course they won’t and will spend too much on some dinky company, or develop their own, laughable offering.

    After awhile the fad will have moved on, only sticking around for the professional scammy evangelists and MLM types, the narcissists and the first-time curious.

  26. Yes facebook is still in the drivers seat but they have to make the right call now to stay there. The pressure is on and to use some sports talk-its game on!

  27. Yes facebook is still in the drivers seat but they have to make the right call now to stay there. The pressure is on and to use some sports talk-its game on!

  28. Facebook shouldn’t be scared. They have the leading platform, and even if OpenSocial takes off, Facebook will own the #2 option.

    They should learn from Apple and choose control over openness.

  29. Facebook shouldn’t be scared. They have the leading platform, and even if OpenSocial takes off, Facebook will own the #2 option.

    They should learn from Apple and choose control over openness.

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  31. Fred Stutzman is one of the most knowledgeable person I know on social network has and interesting take on Open Social

    “But wait, this can’t be the first “open” Social API, can it? No – there have been a number of attempts at creating standardized wrappers for social. FOAF is a notable example, XFN another. Like Google’s initiative, none of these are “standards” in the IETF or W3C sense. Seizing on its place in the market, its powerful, hegemonic voice and the cadre of willing followers, Google’s opensocial is a super-standard – not sanctified by any body other than the sheer volume of developers who will start playing with it.”

    http://chimprawk.blogspot.com/2007/10/on-opensocial.html#comments

  32. Fred Stutzman is one of the most knowledgeable person I know on social network has and interesting take on Open Social

    “But wait, this can’t be the first “open” Social API, can it? No – there have been a number of attempts at creating standardized wrappers for social. FOAF is a notable example, XFN another. Like Google’s initiative, none of these are “standards” in the IETF or W3C sense. Seizing on its place in the market, its powerful, hegemonic voice and the cadre of willing followers, Google’s opensocial is a super-standard – not sanctified by any body other than the sheer volume of developers who will start playing with it.”

    http://chimprawk.blogspot.com/2007/10/on-opensocial.html#comments

  33. Mr. Scoble… not so sure on that “wind out of their sales” bit. I think, sometimes, these deals create their own wind (that doesn’t quite read the way I intended…) Anyway, Yahoo! and MSN might be able to take collectively slurp all the oxygen out of the room… There’s still plenty of nitrogen left.

    I really hope and am rooting for Yahoo! to come on strong and give Google a run (hell, anyone, to give them a run). I love a good, somewhat evenly matched rivalry. Makes for good sport and usually good selection. Fact is, I think Google’s competing with their own young… kind of like topping your own last best high score. Fun to watch ‘em zoom even without that close rival.

  34. Mr. Scoble… not so sure on that “wind out of their sales” bit. I think, sometimes, these deals create their own wind (that doesn’t quite read the way I intended…) Anyway, Yahoo! and MSN might be able to take collectively slurp all the oxygen out of the room… There’s still plenty of nitrogen left.

    I really hope and am rooting for Yahoo! to come on strong and give Google a run (hell, anyone, to give them a run). I love a good, somewhat evenly matched rivalry. Makes for good sport and usually good selection. Fact is, I think Google’s competing with their own young… kind of like topping your own last best high score. Fun to watch ‘em zoom even without that close rival.

  35. yet so you post a bunch of times on the fact you have very little MSFT stock, so a few dollars raise does not result in the attitude you describe. what a muppet. and of course you will delete this despite what you claim publicly, huh. can’t handle the truth…

  36. yet so you post a bunch of times on the fact you have very little MSFT stock, so a few dollars raise does not result in the attitude you describe. what a muppet. and of course you will delete this despite what you claim publicly, huh. can’t handle the truth…

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