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.