I also really enjoyed hearing from one of the product managers that Facebook's "first pivot" was becoming "mobile-first." That says so much. It is meant to convey that everyone who works in Facebook engineering thinks "first" of how some feature is going to look on the mobile app instead of how it's going to look on the Web site.
It's also priceless that whoever said this thinks it's a sign of maturity to describe this shift as Facebook's "first pivot." Only someone who's embedded deep in the Valley echo chamber thinks it sounds intelligent to use the word "pivot."
It's not an existential crisis at Facebook, this whole movement away from our core product to some new mobile environment where users may not want to come back to our site, this person appears to be saying. It's a pivot.
When you use the word "pivot," you're downplaying some crisis that you're going through. Why didn't all companies throughout history that faced a market moving away from their core offering figure out this pivot thing? Betamax should have just pivoted! What were they thinking? Also interesting to me in the All Things D piece was how the new and improved mobile team at Facebook is apparently embracing how mobile is fracturing Facebook's monolithic "platform" into itty-bitty pieces. You now will have Facebook Messenger as an app and Facebook Camera as an app. Hey, it's a solution to the slow-moving main service. Just break it up. Except this is one of those reverse synergies where the separate parts are less than the whole. If I'm going to go into my "blazing fast" Facebook Messenger itty-bitty app, maybe I'm going to start comparing that piece of the Facebook experience to iMessage. I'll probably conclude after a little while that I don't need the hassle of dealing with Facebook Messenger over time and that I should just default to iMessage. But if I stop using different parts of the Facebook "platform" over time, then what is Facebook in this new mobile world? I'm starting to feel a little bit too much like Jean-Paul Sartre sitting on Paris' Left Bank, so let me just say it seems Facebook is really worried about mobile. Otherwise, it wouldn't be working so hard to convince us that it has the problem taken care of. But does it? It reminds me a bit of when Research In Motion (RIMM) was getting hammered in the press 18 months ago and its co-CEOs decided to leak to The Wall Street Journal that they were working on a tablet to compete with Apple's iPad. The stock jumped the next day on that news. Eighteen months later, where are we? At the time of publication, Jackson held shares of AAPL. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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