Facebook; making money from a forest fire

From Mashable this morning…

“Facebook grew from 200 million users to 300 million in just over 5 months. It took 8 months to reach 200 million from 100 million, and it took years to reach the 100 million user milestone.”

When things catch fire in this crazy bonfire world, they sometimes spread like wildfire…  


Facebook’s growth will slow eventually, of course, but that time doesn’t look like being anytime soon.  Yet there’s still uncertainty of ‘how to monetise’ it.


I keep thinking that all these sites are having trouble ‘monetise’ their offerings, which are usually pretty good… and yet people (in my experience) are quite happy to spend a £1.19 here and £0.59 there on iPhone apps (admittedly this is among iPhone users who by and large have more money than sense…)

But that point about the payment system in the iPhone is that it’s very easy.

Maybe it’s not that people are unwilling to pay.  They’re just unwilling to enter credit card details and sign direct debits and go through that whole rigmarole every time they sign up to something. 

Maybe the solution to monetising has to come from the ‘money’ people… Visa, Mastercard, Google Checkout, O2’s billing department.  If you read this other article on Mashable, you’ll see that they’re trying to build a simple micropayment system based on ‘Checkout’…

…not only could it save (some elements of) newspapers, as the article suggests, but it could help new things make money to survive to.

Anyway, finally on Facebook; on a personal level, what’s been interesting for me of late is that my Mum & my Auntie Sheila have started using it as one of the main ways they communicate with Helen and I… it really has spread across generations.

So if they can’t make money from it now, they never will.