Social Networking is Failing Everywhere

Those who still believe that social networking is the future are sorely misled.

Venture capitalists from San Francisco to Boston have gotten leveled trying to find the next Facebook.  They have invested in crap from here to kingdom come that will never return a penny and they know it.  Only Facebook and LinkedIn have ever shown any real large scale promise in the social networking space.  Maybe there was a travel site somewhere.  I am sure that there are handful of niches, but that is it.

I work in the wireless space.  I see so many exciting things going on in this space - 80% of which revolves around the iPhone. 

At wireless symposiums and conferences that I have attended recently, I have been amazed that the so called experts see this exciting opportunity coming down the pike where social networks will become mobile.   To boot, these experts are certain that subscribers will gladly fork over tons of cash to be involved in this (ie., that the social networking opportunity in wireless will be based on more than just advertising).

The wireless industry hasn't been able to get subscribers to pay for anything other than access and maybe a few ringtones.  To put blind faith in the idea that social networking is the next frontier in wireless - especially when the bodies are all over Silicon Valley to demonstrate that it has already failed - is solely misguided.

 

Aron Livrone
Aron Livrone: Aron is a 2008 Wharton MBA with a consulting background prior to moving from Sweden to the US to begin his MBA.

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Comments

  • Mass Market Tech

    July 31, 2008

    "Only Facebook and LinkedIn have ever shown any real large scale promise in the social networking space. Maybe there was a travel site somewhere. I am sure that there are handful of niches, but that is it."

    These blanket statements totally undermine your argument. Myspace is actually bigger than Facebook and has helped revolutionize the music industry. Bebo sold for $800 million to AOL. Orkut is the largest social network in Brazil and India. Then there are niche sites like Booksie.com for writing, lastFM for music, etc., etc. These sites have tons of eyeballs and while they might not have monetized them yet, they will. This was the same thing we heard at the beginning of the Web - "tons of people but noone making money." Now look at Amazon, look at Yahoo, look at Google, look at Expedia, etc. etc.

    How this will play out in wireless is hard to know, but social networking will come your phone. It's just a matter of time.

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