Mystery press events and the hype associated with them is a common marketing strategy for many big tech companies. Apple, for example, cloaks itself in mystery while never officially providing information about its press events even if the info is leaked. Facebook decided to adopt this strategy with their latest marketing move, and today we’ll find out what they need to be so secretive about.
Today Is the Day
According to an AP story, “Facebook’s mystery “press event”” will be at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern time. Facebook “has not said what it plans to announce” and speculation has been running rampant. Especially since Facebook sent out invitations to the press, bloggers, and journalists that simply said, “come see what we’re building.”
Since Facebook went public in May of 2012, the company has been exploring a variety of options to bring in more revenue. Facebook had a rocky start to maintaining a share price, as it lost over 50% of its value in a few months. But a swath of changes – the most recent being a $100 fee to message Mark Zuckerberg – have been working for the company and for Wall Street. Facebook’s stock sits at almost $31 up from its 52-week low of only $17.55.
So What Does Facebook Have Up Its Sleeve?
Back to the most important news of the day: what exactly has Facebook been building? Jennifer Van Grove over at CNet has a great write-up of what we could possibly see in a few hours. One prediction which has been making the rounds on the internet is a Facebook phone. One that, as Jennifer writes, would be “a piece of hardware … running a forked version of Android … a.k.a. a Facebook mobile operating system.”
This move would help take Facebook’s push into mobile to a whole other level and likely impress Wall Street too. Of course, the OS for the phone would be a more valuable development than the phone itself, as it would provide Facebook a great deal of control on a mobile device that it currently does not have.
Some of the other possible announcements that Jennifer mentions are not quite as exciting, like “a cool new campus,” new video ads, a “visual redo of the mobile News Feed,” and an upgraded or new messenger for the iPad and other devices. There is one prediction that Jennifer and much of the tech-oriented press has been pushing lately though: a search engine.
A Facebook Search Engine?
Somini Sengupta at the New York Times has taken the time to analyze what a Facebook search engine might look like and why it’s a likely candidate for a mystery press event. Somini quotes an analyst in his article who states, “If Facebook would decide to become serious about search, it would be in a position to give Google a run for its money.” That’s a bold claim if you ask me, but it has some merit.
Facebook is loaded with an unimaginable amount of information about you, people you know, and people you don’t know. Currently we have no way of sifting through all of that information to find what we might want to know.
Facebook would be able to leverage this information in a search engine that could provide relevance based on your relationships. This is something that “would delight advertisers – and, by extension, Wall Street” Somini writes.
A lot of signs point to the search engine as being the likely announcement behind this mystery press event. Give the possibilities of a Facebook search engine, I’m of the opinion that in a few hours we will know more about Facebook Search, and we might get a few smaller updates to Facebook’s services. I find it fitting that Facebook is relying on an old school strategy in marketing with its mystery event to announce what could be the newest marketing and advertising engine on the web. Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.
What do you think Facebook will announce? How do you feel about a new Facebook search engine?
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