I’m not usually one to speculate, but while listening to Myke Hurley, Terry Lucy and Brett Terpstra discuss the rumored Facebook phone I couldn’t help it. Most of their theories centered around getting more user data and turning Facebook into a true mobile platform rather than an app on the devices of others. There’s little question that both of these points contribute to Zuckerberg’s desire to create a phone, but I think this is about something else. I think Facebook wants the one piece of data they don’t have on their 900 billion users. It’s a single piece of data that has the potential to earn them more than any ad. Facebook wants our credit card numbers.
This is something that Amazon, Apple and to a lesser extent, Google have that Facebook does not. And as our wallets and phones collide, it makes sense that they would head in this direction . This is especially true when you consider skepticism surrounding the effectiveness of their ads, even in light of all of the personal information we’ve already given them.
While the average geek does not trust Facebook, the average user does. So why not use a Facebook phone to get the one piece of data they’ve been missing from the majority of their customers? They have the potential to significantly improve contact management and have the opportunity to come up with far more favorable terms with companies like Amazon (I think we can all agree that buying things like Kindle book on iOS is a pain). Rather than continuing to suck our personal data dry while trying to come up with some inelegant way of serving up mobile ads, they could skip straight to the source and just take our money instead.
So what do you think? Is Facebook after our money or are they just looking to build a better mousetrap for their ads?