How long will Facebook's prestige last?

Akamai Technologies hpBF22
Nov 13 27 Comments

Facebook is very prestigious among devs and is probably #2 behind Google, but how long will Facebook remain this prestigious? I see that prestige is is swaying people toward FB in competitive offer situations with equivalent TC. I wonder if it is wise to weight FB’s prestige so highly?

Back in the year 2000 Microsoft was considered the #1 most prestigious company and Cisco was also pretty high up. Microsoft maintained very high prestige levels through the early 2010s but Cisco's declined much more so. Prestige can change a lot over time especially if a company runs into financial difficulties (prestige plummets) or growth slows (slow decline in prestige).

Unlike the other tech giants like Google and Amazon, I believe Facebook has a massively weaker economic moat. It would be far harder to disrupt Amazon or Google than to disrupt Facebook and therefore I am much less bullish on Facebook’s ability to maintain their current prestige levels for the long term. In the US and Europe facebook usage is flat or declining depending on country and there is a sharp decline in usage among <= 20 year olds. People are spending less time on the site. Many of these users are going to instagram (which Facebook owns) so that has mitigated the financial impact but what if another product comes along? Image sharing sites are easy to build so this is a constant fear. Instagram is also cluttered with advertisements how long will people put up with that before they bail to another platform?

How long will Facebook’s prestige last?

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TOP 27 Comments
  • New / Eng React Deve
    As long as they pay well
    Nov 13 3
    • Akamai Technologies hpBF22
      OP
      And if their business erodes it won’t be as easy for them to pay well.
      Nov 13
    • Zillow Group k5g8hf
      Then people will just move to whoever pays the most next. 🤷🏻‍♂️
      Nov 13
    • Uber v v
      🔔 🔔 🔔 this is the right answer! Other than a handful of teams (ai, oculus and the defunct planes), it doesn’t seem that they are doing cool stuff anymore
      Nov 13
  • Microsoft panamap
    What is prestige ? It’s artificial and superficial, people can have high impact and earn more anywhere , the key is hard work and honesty. You work for your family and your satisfaction not what others will think about you . Prestige is personal and if your prestige increases with association to companies , your prestige is low to start with and will always be low (your perception that your prestige increased is also superfluous)
    Nov 13 1
    • Akamai Technologies hpBF22
      OP
      I agree with you.
      Nov 13
  • Google / Eng cloudy sky
    FB moat looks fine to me. It will be as tough to disrupt as any other, with diverse portfolio of FB/IG deeply ingrained into peoples’ everyday lives.

    Google’s economic moat is almost entirely Ads, just like FB. They will be equally easy to disrupt: kill ads.

    FWIW, FB has a superior Ads product. (I work in G Ads, and used to date someone that worked in advertising.) When it comes to users, simplicity wins out over accurate complexity (eg why Google search dominated in the first place), and FB Ads delivers on user simplicity. G has no real path to simplification and the tooling is disparate and complex.

    So tl;dr: Consumers will continue using FB/IG despite any Snapchats, etc. Advertisers will continue buying ads. As long as FB maintains high TC it should be here to stay.

    As far as unseating it? Some other consumer (not enterprise) focused company/product generates ridiculous money advertising to hundreds of millions of DAU and pays its employees high TC with good WLB.
    Nov 13 5
    • Akamai Technologies hpBF22
      OP
      I think it would be harder to disrupt google because:

      1) harder to build a search engine at least as good as googles. Much easier to build a social site (see original instagram team)

      2) google is providing a pure utility (searching for stuff) and is therefore more immune to fashion swings that could cause people to gravitate toward different social sites. As long as google continues to provide the best search utility they are safe. The second their search is no longer the best they are f*cked. Social sites can go in and out of fashion like clothing, music, or restaurants. The herd is now migrating to Instagram but who knows where they will be in 10 years

      FWIW I think amazon has the largest moat because not only would you have to rebuild all their tech but they have billions invested in warehouses, robotics, fulfillment networks.
      Nov 13
    • Facebook gEKd541
      I don't think you can use IG as an example here. It didnt just grow organically to become what it is today and without FB supporting and scaling it would probably never reach anything close to what it is today.

      The FB <-> IG integration was a game changer (even for ads, which are worth much less for an ig user)
      Nov 13
    • Akamai Technologies hpBF22
      OP
      Ads worth much less for IG user? Is IG a less profitable application? I guess that makes sense since it’s just a photo sharing app.

      If IG is less profitable then a cultural shift from Facebook -> IG would be very bad for Facebook right?
      Nov 13
    • Google / Eng cloudy sky
      Not necessarily, if culture shifted so everyone deleted FB and started using IG:
      - FB would adapt to monetize IG better.
      - IG ads would become more profitable since advertisers wouldn’t be wasting their money at FB.

      And either way, it all flows back to the same place.
      Nov 13
    • Facebook gEKd541
      Kinda - if is becoming more profitable all the time, but at its core - an impression for an ig only user (no fb account) was less valuable than fb because you dont know as much about them and targetting wasnt as effective .

      Things change and they improve all the time (and as I commented below - the fb app itself is still rapidly growing...)
      Nov 13
  • JPMorgan Chase / Eng kidintech
    Facebook's value isn't solely based on the number of users the facebook app has. They are branching out into EVERYTHING (whatsapp, AR, React, Portal, etc).

    I don't know if all their branches are gonna last, but I think they've got contingency plans. Let's see how they work out.
    Nov 13 3
    • Facebook Butthugs
      Google did similar branching starting 15 years ago. Umm... ya... I think Search still comprises 95% or more of their revenue.

      If they were doing old school multi-decade scientific R&D where just one hit could revolutionize an industry or create brand new industries (transistor, laser, etc) ok, that makes sense, but friggin autonomous cars (all major car manufacturers been doing R&D for decades on this, they just don’t hype it with marketing) and neato, yay, some office clone, yippee (who cares). Google doesn’t do real R&D. so they are another one trick pony too.
      Nov 13
    • Uber v v
      How many portals have you seen in actual use? Not even my friends that work at Facebook use it (not trolling). Wondering what their penetration is
      Nov 13
    • Google topCon
      Ads is actually 85% of revenue and trending down each quarter

      At FB, ads is above 98%. Huge difference.
      Nov 13
  • LinkedIn swdevl
    Why this obsession? If you don’t want to, then don’t join Facebook. Don’t Interview with them. Their prestige will last as long as they make money, give top salaries, and have good challenging CS problems for engineers. This happens with all the companies there was and there will be on earth.
    Nov 13 0
  • Tesla / Eng 🐉⛈
    Let the TC flow.
    Nov 13 1
  • Google SDDooo
    OP, people who worked at Microsoft in early 2000s are still looked up to and they are doing very well in their careers.

    They were smart, worked on good things and learnt a lot of useful skills. Working at FB now would be the same.
    Nov 13 0
  • Amazon rand0miz3d
    🍿
    Nov 13 0
  • Facebook gEKd541
    User growth in the US and most of europe has actually gone up, and so has user engagement and revenue per user. This I'd despite the fact that the markets are almost completely saturated.

    This disregard the ridiculous growth in other markets and their messaging products that completely dominate all communication outside of the US (WhatsApp is the most dominant app in most of the world) and they still make no money from it.

    I dont think any company is immune to market shifts and I dont expect fb to dominate forever, but I think you are selling its properties a little short.
    Nov 13 2
    • Akamai Technologies hpBF22
      OP
      How would you make money from a texting app? Ads? Wouldn’t users become really annoyed and move to one of the other 10000 apps for messaging?
      Nov 13
    • Facebook gEKd541
      1. No they wont move. I think that you are severely underestimating how hard it is to get people to switch a messaging app (there is a reason why, globally, there havent been too many changes in messaging apps dominance despite a lot of smart people working on their messaging app).

      2. I suggest you take a look at some of the chinese behemoths in the space first. One example is payments, which is a very common and relevant use case in big parts if the world (and just began launching in messenger and maybe whatsapp a few days ago). Payments through messaging is huge in china.

      3. Do you seriously think that messaging apps are just inheritingly not monetizable and will remain so? You do realize there was a time when social networks didnt have too many ads and the assumption was that people will just move to something else once it becomes too annoying?
      Nov 13
  • Facebook buss
    Facebook and G are comparable (prestige)
    Nov 14 0
  • Google topCon
    Every company has a weakness
    Nov 13 0
  • Microsoft MMKy42
    Your definition of a moat is technical...but that's not correct. The power is in the users and the platform, not the fact that it's easy to build another Instagram.
    Nov 13 0

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