Step Aside Google
By David Dorf on May 10, 2010
Step aside Google. While search will always be a huge part of the web, I can see a day in the not-too-distance future where search takes a backseat to the social graph. Links between pages will give way to relationships between people, including context like location.What does this mean for retail? It means your e-commerce strategy will slowly transition to an f-commerce strategy. Remember when a large portion of the online population was held captive inside the walls of AOL? All the commercials listed an AOL keyword, not a web address because that's where the majority of people surfed. Now, people are spending a huge amount of time in Facebook (despite Betty White's proclamation that its a big waste of time). According to Facebook, users spend 500 billion minutes per month on the site.
Selling products where consumers are spending their time makes sense. The power of Like and Share are the most effective approach to marketing. More and more stores are popping up on Facebook, and soon they will be the front-end to e-commerce systems.
As sites adopt the Facebook Open Graph API, users will have a harder time distinguishing the open web from their Facebook experience, including shopping. Of course e-commerce sites won't go away, but a large portion of their traffic will emanate from Facebook and in some cases Facebook will act as the front-end for the web store. Ignore Facebook Open Graph at your peril.
In a Mashable article, Mitchell Harper made several predictions about how e-commerce will change based on Facebook. His five points are not far-fetched at all, so we need to watch this space carefully.