Thoughts on Facebook F8

1) Replacing the World Wide Web. Facebook is focused on replacing large swaths of the web.  We got to see Facebook’s plan for sharing media, and I suspect we will hear Facebook’s take on other web functions, such as commerce, search, and utility, in the future.

2) Facebook Hates Privacy. Privacy remains Facebook’s major roadblock as web-replacement initiatives don’t look as appealing if Facebook users flock to high privacy safeguards. Although society has grown more comfortable with sharing information on the web; users’ ability and willingness to share will only strengthen Facebook’s intentions. 

3) An Alternative. Facebook is presenting an alternative to Apple’s app model in terms of how users access and use third-party content.  By no means is Facebook’s app model guaranteed to succeed, but it is clear that Apple’s native app model will have some form of competition. Apple has made an effort to point out the billions of dollars in app revenue returned to developers and I think Apple will reinforce this point, arguing app innovation should continue to flock to the iOS platform because developers actually get paid. 

4) Changing Landscape.  We are in the beginning stages of a changing tech landscape where the hardware battle will be won by economies of scale and uniformity, while the software battle is won by seamless integration between the social network and third-party content. Apple is in a prime position to reap competitive advantages from its manufacturing and supply chain economics of scale, while iPhone and iPad popularity may soon result in 100s of millions of iDevices in the wild.  Meanwhile, I believe Facebook has already won the social network race and will now work on increasing and improving third-party content utilization. Apple and Facebook are in prime position to control the tech landscape.