Apr 05 2013

Honey, are you Home?

When I first heard the news that Facebook is unveiling its new version of its Android “something that’s a lot deeper than an app” called “Home”, I was reminded of how Samsung has been heavily investing on software for their new Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship in order to differentiate the product from the existing ones in the market and strengthen their current and future position in a very competitive market.
Will it work for Samsung as well as for Facebook?

For Samsung, I am yet to be convinced. Unless Samsung can produce a better software with good usability, I will still refrain from using Samsung’s pre-loaded software. The last time I used Samsung Kies, the software was struggling to recognise its own products in a consistent manner. I am afraid when I use its S Health, the software will tell me that 100 grams of white basmati rice will have the same calory as 100 grams of white jasmine rice and screw my diet plans – as if I have one now 😉

For Facebook, the introduction of Home will be a strategic move to lure ever growing Android platform users. As we all know, the existing Facebook app for Android is honestly less than usable. I prefer to use WhatsApp any time of the day than Facebook app that is slow, clumsy and buggy. From the feedback that I received from Komunitas Android Indonesia – the most popular Android community in Indonesia, many prefer to use WhatsApp or BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for text communication rather than Facebook. I believe the introduction of Home will radically change the playing field for a better one, especially when Samsung is currently beefing up their software capacity and HTC is trying to come up with something attractive.

The only thing that I am concerned is whether Facebook itself is still experimenting with its new Home. The fact that Home is only available first for US and later Europe is underlining the fact that Facebook has left the users in its former capital city (Jakarta, Indonesia) sweating – ed. There is no winter in Indonesia, so I can’t write that Facebook left the users in Jakarta in cold :-). Facebook has been loosing its grip for awhile now in Indonesia and US due its weak mobile strategy. The new Home should be able to give it a boost needed to level the playing field in Indonesia and other emerging markets.

If Facebook is confident enough with its new Home – “something that’s a lot deeper than an app”, why not releasing it for its emerging markets, i.e. Indonesia, Brazil or India?


Apr 03 2013

Why has LinkedIn become more fun? (and Facebook less)

Dinner at Jackson's.

Enjoying my dinner at Jackson’s, Perth.

When Facebook has become less fun, LinkedIn has become more fun. Is there any correlation between the two?

When I signed up for a LinkedIn account many years ago after the dotcom bubble burst, I didn’t have any expectation for the social network service. I just knew that a few of my colleagues were using it and I could also put my resume or CV online. I signed up to find out what it was all about due to my professional work requirements in the ICT industry.

After using it for a while, I left my LinkedIn account dusty in the Internet somewhere and forgot about it.

.. and there came another temptation for my productivity: Facebook. At first, I was thinking that Facebook would be like Friendster, spamming you with email invites, getting connected with strangers, etc.

“I do not need another distraction.”, “Enough ‘Social’, thank you very much.” were a couple of things hammering my head.

It took five years to convince me that Facebook is a worthy social media to work with, especially since more than 90% of our customer base is using Facebook. So here I am today, setting up Facebook pages and managing a number of community pages with total ‘Likes’ more than 10K (and growing) and average daily reach of around 3K in quiet time, in addition to Twitter and other social media.

I forgot how I came back to LinkedIn, but I vaguely remember that I received a Linkedin invitation from someone I was interested to build a business relationship with and ended up resetting my LinkedIn password to get back in and connect with my business contact. … and then I was surprised.

Orange duck breast, mushroom, caramelized onion, wolfberry custards.

Orange duck breast, mushroom, caramelized onion, wolfberry custards.

After a few years leaving LinkedIn in the dust of Internet traffic, for the first time I was feeling ‘compelled’ to complete my profile, clean up my ‘dud’ contacts, invite new business contacts to connect, join some discussion groups, thumb up good postings and receive relevant job ads from time to time. I suddenly spent more of my leisure time in Linked rather than Facebook. I learnt more about my business contacts, the projects they are doing, the professional and interest groups in my industry and other relevant stuff that I never knew existed when I first joined LinkedIn.

The simplest correlation that I found was that I only have 24 hours a day to use both social network services (duh…)

If my schedule is more or less the same, the more time I spend on LinkedIn means the less time I spend on Facebook.

The other is slightly more complicated as also discovered by the Social Media in the City study in the correlation between higher social media performance and positive movements in stock price among companies listed on the British stock exchange. In simple words, the more I achieve my business goals, the less time I spend on the least social network services that help my business to grow.

Will I later shelve Facebook to the misty cloud of the Internet and forget about it?
Let’s wait and see.