A second link on this topic, just to drive the point home. Here's Ben Thompson on Facebook's dating service:
The audacity of announcing a dating feature given the last few months of controversy about privacy is certainly something; it also underscores the line in Zuckerberg’s keynote about how Facebook builds communications services “again and again” and that the company has “built and grown service after service that have put people and our connections and our relationships at the center of the experience.”
Except that line has little basis in reality; sure, Facebook has launched plenty of new services — Places, Inbox, Deals, Gifts, Offers, Poke, Slingshot, Notify, to name just a few — and they all failed. The company’s biggest non-Facebook app successes — Instapaper and WhatsApp — were acquired, and the other, Messenger, was spun out of the main app.
To that end, I’m not surprised that Facebook Dating will be a part of the main app: the company has taken a similar tack with Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Watch ; it is more likely the company’s user base will tap on a new tab than they will download a new app. Of course, there is the smashing success of Stories, particularly in Instagram and WhatsApp; in my estimation, though, the addition of Stories, particularly in the case of Instagram, didn’t really change the fundamental job-to-be-done of the app — it was just a new way to present the same content (WhatsApp was a shift but, as WeChat has demonstrated, a natural one for a chat app).
First, yes, again, the announcement timing was dumb. Obviously, yet not to Facebook. Which is fascinating/dumbfounding.
Second, yes, Facebook launches a lot of things -- that fail. People seem to forget this because Facebook is so successful as a company and business. But they do not have a great track record when it comes to building new businesses and services that aren't core to Facebook. Of course, the fact that they've been great at acquiring said businesses and services (including the core of Messenger, by the way) more than makes up for that.
Third, I like framing "job-to-be-done" as the key to ultimate success. This is exactly in line with why I think Stories worked within Instagram even though it failed basically everywhere else that Facebook tried to inject it...Read more...