What is Facebook?

How would you describe Facebook if someone asked you? Would you call it a social network? Would you tell them about profiles and newsfeeds?

The beauty of Facebook, from Facebook’s perspective, is that it is many things to many different people. And there is no limit to what it can become. It is so much a part of who we are and what we do, that the business opportunities that exist for them are almost endless.

And in the last two weeks, Facebook has made two announcements that I think other companies should be paying attention to:

  1. Ask – Facebook added an “Ask” button for users to inquire about other users, most specifically about their relationship status.
     
  2. Menus – teaming with Constant Contact, Facebook added the ability for restaurants to add menus to their pages on Facebook.

And if you ask me, that sounds like step one toward both an online dating and a food ordering or reservation booking service through the Facebook platform. I know that if I was running companies like Seamless/Grubhub, Menupages, Opentable, OKCupid, and Match.com I would not be too excited about Facebook potentially coming after my business.

Facebook, as a publicly traded company, is interested in creating value for shareholders. That means building out their advertising platform in hopes that more companies will spend more money advertising to its users. And it means finding new revenue sources through add-ons or new businesses.

Could Facebook venture into online dating or food ordering? Of course it could. Will it? We will just have to wait and see.