Posted by: Matthew Dugow on June 18, 2012
A Wish List of Premium Facebook Features
Now that Facebook’s IPO is out of the way and its stock price is starting to find its footing, there’s a healthy dose of criticism about whether or not the social network will be able to find a way to monetize its more than 900 million users.
Having just rolled out Sponsored Stories for mobile devices, giving advertisers the ability to better target their consumers according to the device they are using, is an obvious step in Facebook’s profit-minded future.
This will no doubt have Facebook generate more revenue, but will it be enough to dramatically move the needle? We’re not sure either, considering the buzz around some big companies, like GM, pulling completely out of the Facebook advertising market.
But what about new features? Would you be willing to pay a small, or relative, fee for some new features? Here are four on my wish list, two for business and two for pleasure, which I would gladly pay for.
1. Allow Brand Pages To Identify/Highlight Influencers
One of the most prominent reasons Facebook has gained interest from Internet marketers is its power to congregate online conversations and word-of-mouth marketing.
Now, more than ever, we are seeing brand ambassadors popping up left and right, often times just average people who care enough about a product or brand to spread the word constantly and even defend it from negative reaction – all by their own volition.
When these users have thousands of friends that are constantly engaging and trusting what this person posts on their page, marketers take notice. Or at least they’d like to.
One social network that has this right is Klout, which gives users perks and a virtual rating based on their influence over certain topics. The more influence a user has, the more chances they’ll get to receive free goods, discounts and other “perks” from brands.
While Facebook is slowly building up the ability to let Brand Pages to get more personal with their user base (messages from users and @mentioning users are the newest features), there is still a gaping void in just how much a Page can interact by reaching out. Often times this leads Page Admins to take the conversation off of Facebook to get more information from brand ambassadors. A premium feature that incorporated a few more options, like unlimited two-way messaging or data that shows who interacts on the page most, could help keep the conversation from leaving Facebook altogether.
2. Give Brands More Information From Facebook Insights
While Facebook’s Insights (the analytical data reporting tool) have certainly come a long way, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
While we wouldn’t go so far as to ask Facebook to give us access to a fan’s personal information or profile, there are simpler wishes and wants like showing which app or part of your Page a certain demographic interacts with most, or what a visitor’s traffic flow on your Page looks like.
Perhaps we’re spoiled by the plethora of tools and data that other tools like Google Analytics offer up, but we can’t help but think Facebook has more under the hood it could be showing us – especially when it comes to data we could use to improve our social media marketing campaigns.
3. Let Users See Who Visits His/Her Profile The Most Often
We’ve all seen the apps, chain-shares and so-called “tricks” to seeing who looks at your profile the most – all of which are either a sham or simply don’t work.
What’s surprising, though, is just how much people really care about this information. The chain-shares and apps wouldn’t get nearly the attention they do if people didn’t really want to know who’s Facebook-stalking them the most, right?
It probably won’t fall under the Patriot Act, but it would surely make Facebook a pretty penny if it wasn’t found to be an outright privacy issue…
4. Increase the friend limit to more than 5,000
We all have those few friends on Facebook that have hit the 5,000-friend limit, leading some of them (albeit the more addicted and slightly over-caffeinated ones) to create duplicate accounts to amass more connections.
As it’s pretty clear these Facebook power users are already heavily invested, they offer a possible source of additional income for Facebook: Allowing users who hit the 5,000-friend limit to “upgrade” their account and increase their friend network capacity – for a fee.
Whether a one-time fee or a fee that reoccurred monthly, this option might (potentially) keep the power users from making fake/duplicate accounts, and allow Facebook to see a little more green coming its way.
What do you think? Would you pay for any (or all) of these features? Think of one I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.