Christopher Mims:

I don’t think Facebook actually has a plan. I think it’s the new AOL. But if it did have a plan, this is what it would look like.

Mims makes the case for Facebook to become a financial company, by buying Square or competing with it. He points out the power Apple has with all the credit cards stored in iTunes too. Here’s the problem with this idea:

  1. As long as Zuckerberg is control I doubt this happens, the financial sector is just too boring for me to see him making that move. It would also be admitting that Facebook doesn’t work as a business, something he has gone to pains to make work as a business.
  2. The analogy to iTunes is bad, because iTunes actually sells things that people want in ways that they can’t really get from other places (certainly not as easily). What does Facebook have to sell? Highlighted posts?

At the end of the post Mims quips that perhaps Facebook moves laterally to become a mobile phone provider. That’s closer to what I bet they try, but even Microsoft is having trouble in this market, so how does Facebook beat not only Apple, but Google and Microsoft?

As I posted the other day, it’s about buying intent. That’s where Facebook needs to get its user to.