Talking tech since 2003

Last week, Facebook announced Facebook Places, I’m going to spare you the details of what Places actually is because I’m sure you have read about it elsewhere.  Instead I’m going to discuss how bad of an idea it was for these companies to have partnered with Facebook for their Places product.  Who exactly partnered with Facebook for Places?  Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, and Booyah (so far, I’m sure there will be more).  This is a bad idea.

Since when has Facebook ever played nicely with their partners?  Since when have any Facebook acquisitions lived past acquisition and if they have (I can only think of one – Friendfeed) when have they succeeded?  The answer is they haven’t.  Look at their most recent acquisition of Hot Potato – they shut that down, too.  Same with Divvy Shot, Parakey, and Nextstop.  I’m sure there are others that I missed, but you get the idea.  Facebook acquires these companies not for the product, but for the talent.  They are called talent buys and there is absolutely a method to the Facebook acquisition madness.  Facebook wants to completely dominate everything in the social/mobile market.

When I heard all of these companies were partnering with Facebook for Places, my initial reaction came in the form of a tweet, “So basically Facebook is going to learn all they can from Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Booyah, etc. and then obliterate them. Got it.”  I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what happened.  In fact, I would be shocked if that isn’t what happens.  Just look at how upset Zynga is with Facebook lately.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that Google invested hundreds of millions into Zynga recently?  No, it’s not.

If anyone thinks Facebook can play nice, just look at their history of acquisitions and partnerships.  It’s the Facebook way or the highway.  At least that is how it looks from an outside perspective.

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