In laying out the firm's growth strategy to investors ahead of the initial public offering, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg directed sharp attention on enhancing the mobile and advertising experience on the social networking website. Zuckerberg's statement is a reaffirmation of the growing role of social media in giving consumers' a big say in product development, distribution and consumption strategies across business sectors.
Social media has come into its own in the 'always on' environment, aided by rapid consumerization of technologies. Today, social media itself is contributing to this process of consumerization with consumers gaining access to various apps on these platforms to state and exercise their buying preferences. Data captured from these conversations and transactions, such as 'likes' on Facebook, prove to be vital inputs for building business intelligence using analytical tools.
For good reason, Zuckerberg has said that the firm will focus upon integrating online apps more strongly into Facebook, in particular mobile apps, to create a "transformative" advertising experience. One recent example of such integration is Instagram.
His assertion that people "will listen to music and watch TV with other people through Facebook" underlines the big opportunity for companies to leverage this medium to connect with consumers instantly, more so as a greater number of people use mobile devices 'on-the-go' to conduct their business transactions and for social networking. Figures regarding mobile subscription growth globally bears testimony to this. As per the International Telecommunication Union estimates, mobile subscriptions rose to 6 billion by the end of 2011, that is equivalent to 87% of the world population, and a huge increase from 5.4 billion in 2010 and 4.7 billion mobile subscriptions in 2009. For the CIOs, the writing is on the wall. Adopt new technologies that get them and consumers on the same page.