In case you missed it, Facebook surpassed Google last week, according to Hitwise Intelligence.
Facebook reached an important milestone for the week ending March 13, 2010 and surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week.
Watch this short video of Thomas Power of Eacademy.com talking about Facebook becoming a bank. He says Facebook should catch Google in terms of traffic by the end of the year. (looks like it’s happening even sooner than expected?) He then lays out a scenario of some powerhouse acquisitions that could take place, and a possible peer-to-peer lending business model that could wipe out the current banking industry as we know it.
Things are about to get very interesting.
Gregg Morris said:
I agree that things are about to get very interesting, in both this area and others. Marc Andreesen, he of Netscape fame and tech and society thinker extraordinaire, had some very interesting comments on this very same issue in an interview he did with Charlie Rose a little over a year ago. One comment of his from the interview that I keep going back to is “how hard can it be?”
You wrote a bit about institutions yesterday, and we tweeted about trust moving from them to processes this morning, and were it not for bailout money, we would likely have already seen a big move toward the peer to peer scenario you describe above.
Venessa Miemis said:
this is all fascinating to watch unfold
Sam Rose said:
One caveat: the last time p2p lending emerged, things collapsed fairly quickly when systems of trust were removed from the equation (talking about prosper.com here).
If localized trust is central, p2p lending will succeed 🙂
Alvis Brigis said:
Agree. Localized trust that is transferable will be critical. Fortunatley, there are tons of experiments like that being run. Little bubbles as the water starts to boil.
Alvis Brigis said:
Nice succinct analysis by Power. We’re certainly heading towards a serious and very necessary shift in the nature of currency.
It’s widely known that Facebook has been at work on their currency / credits model for some time now and hopes that it will lead to the holy grail of monetization, with advertising and search becoming more tertiary streams. Such a peer-to-peer lending / micro-credit system could become a massive cash cow, especially if given free reign by federal currency regulators.
Paypal (among others) originally intended to do this but was shut down by the U.S. – but perhaps we’re at last arrived at the Tipping Point for micro-credit. It will scare big banks, but the national system may see it as in its interest now that Facebook is so pervasive – not a bad idea to have the world leader in micro-currency or social currency inside your borders, especially if it’s a system-wide near-term inevitability.
Other interesting plays to watch out for:
1. Philip Rosedale’s reputation currency system project, love machine. http://www.readwriteweb.com/start/2009/11/second-life-founder-launching.php
Imagine the impact more fluid reputation currency would have on networks (I’m thinking of the trust-building you wrote about in your previous post Venessa) and the ability to quickly execute projects via social media, etc.
2. Google – Already employs Google Checkout, will be forced to react or proact and step up their game, especially as related to their global prosumer / info generation strategy.
3. Microsoft – Always lookig to follow fast and leverage platform – XBox + Windows 7 + apps will create a nice environment where micro-credits will eventually be able to flourish. They’ll be forced to go the prosumer route as well.
4. Apple – They’re about to get into the game big time. App prices will come down. Jobs will very much look to cut out middle men from the profit/transaction loop.
If currency is a technology (a commodity?) designed to encapsulate and transmit value, then the emergence of currencies that do a better job of this “value teleportation” on 1) increasingly smaller scales and 2) when dealing with complexity are developmental inevitabilities. Seems the natural progression has been help back by regulators / special interests, for good and bad reasons (stability, economic advantage for big players), and that acceleration and globalization are quickly bringing us to a currency tipping point.
If we can count it, we can transmit it. Regulation must follow. It will not lead the way.
“Paypal (among others) originally intended to do this but was shut down by the U.S.”
Yeah I used to work for one of the ‘others’. To make a long story short, the US doesn’t like ecommerce, and when it threatens incumbants or state tax/revenue bases they see to it that it gets wiped out.
These were online banks being created by what were in many cases software companies moving into banking. Just telling you that alone could probably give you a good idea how that industry was developing innovation and customer focus wise. I’ll spare you the details.
Anyway, they were busy building the kinds of innovations real banks _should_ have been doing to benefit consumers instead of gambling. It was actually turning into something substantial, and I don’t mean in a dreamer sense. I mean in the sense of an already operational merchant bank with required approvals linking regions across the world, with infrastructure and knowhow, passing through $ billions, branching out into more consumer centered directions.
Unfortunately there were not a lot of things people spent money on in sufficient scale to support the creation of this online banking infrastructure. Online poker was one of the few things that did. Problem with online poker and also anything online in general is states have a hard time taxing it. But with gambling it also interferes with state run gambling/lottery/casino operations which see it as encroaching on their turf.
If it threatens their revenue streams, they find an excuse to kill it.
If you think politicians are going to watch facebook wipe out the banking system, while simultaneously making it easy to conduct business out of their tax grasp (which is what ecommerce means to politicians), think again. They’re not going to take-one-for-the-country at all.
Around the same time as the attempted killing of these ecommerce banks, walmart also talked about offering banking services out of their branches. They shot that one down pretty hard too. Nobody wanted to allow walmart to threaten their cash cow with competition that might win or reduce profits.
Banks are the golden goose for a lot of these politicians. They don’t care what is good for the consumer, or about ecommerce. If Walmart doesn’t have the clout to be allowed to play, why would facebook?
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What happens when we combine Thomas Power’s insights with:
1) @patrickdixon’s forecast that cell phone carriers will become banks – http://j.mp/ajBKpU
2) @dougrushkoff’s views on why personal currencies will emerge:
>>“Radical Abundance: how we get past free and learn to exchange value again” http://rushkoff.com/2009/11/21/radical-abundance/
3) how facial recognition apps on cell phones will accelerate reputation-based personal services/currency exchange – http://j.mp/93An3F
My guess is that we may be soon see socnets – especially those partnering well with mobile carriers – launching far more resilient banking/exchange systems than societies with fiat currencies have been able to sustain.
The more I am thinking about it – I think we’ll see a shift from volume to quality of networks. The old model of Facebook was about numbers whereas the newer medium of Twitter allows you to follow/unfollow without the social baggage…
I think we’ll see the power of networks to build lasting relationships the kinds we used to see in our communities – the shift being that its moving to a more virtual place.
Although, I also think that we will see a move to interact more and a closeness and shift to importance in those within our physical proximity. I think people are growing tired of the grind and will look to find additional “meaning” in life.
As always interested in your writings… keep up the great posting!
Spiro Spiliadis said:
One brand, one platform, one focal point that emerges into a harmonized system of networks who are people oriented and in turn the reach stems from one place.
Four will become two and the two will race to the top of the mountain looking down at the billions who they are bringing into one system.
In that system, networks of people.
Folks, welcome to the future of vitural life.
Mark Essel said:
Just bumped into your mind map Spiro and enjoyed it (http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/show_public/45227936)
There are so many posts connected to the topic you chose to look at (The Future of Networks) it’s quite a challenge to capture even just a slice of those ideas.
Spiro Spiliadis said:
I think by using the Future of Networks post as the focal point and expanding it around the participants extended insights i believe not only keeps track of what may unfold from added value but keeps track of every participants line of interest based on that focal point.
I hope people participate and keep it active.
Jon Matonis said:
Indeed, digital currencies are about to emerge. The question is who will drive it. Facebook has the trust factor going for it but they basically blew it when ceding the payment relationship with customer base to PayPal ( see http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2010/02/facebook-gets-out-of-way-in-payments.html ).
If a Facebook virtually currency does not leave the FB environment, what good is it in the long run? Also, the future of any digital currency rests firmly on its ability to emulate the same exact features of a $100 bill today — namely full anonymity and untraceability. Who wants a step BACKWARDS from a paper $100 bill? Nobody!
Resist digital money……unless it’s anonymous.
This just in from @ hubculture
WSJ: the Coming Currency Revolution http://hub.vg/v4VPr #futureofmoney #mobile
7 minutes video worth the 15 seconds ad.
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