As seen in its second quarter report, Facebook (FB) is having no problems with the move to mobile. Revenues surged by 53% to $1.81 billion, and earnings jumped by 58% to 19 cents per share. And monthly active mobile users were up a staggering 51% to 819 million.
But of course, Facebook wants to do more and more. And one of its biggest goals is apparently to become more like Twitter.
Consider some of the recent features on Facebook: hashtags, real-time content in the Newsfeed, embedded posts, verified accounts and even trending topics (some of these are still in the early beta phase). These are all core ingredients of Twitter that have turned the service into a mega success, and have also provided nice opportunities to get a piece of the ad market.
Interestingly enough, Facebook has been trying to woo celebrities, too. There is a team that is focused on this initiative, which includes biggies like Glenn Miller, who was at the helm of digital strategy at the CAA talent agency.
But will being more Twitter-like be a good move for Facebook? Let’s face it, Facebook’s screen is already getting crowded — especially on mobile platforms.
Besides, Twitter has already become heavily embedded in the world’s psyche for real-time content. So will media organizations, brands and famous people really make Facebook their default platform to connect with their audiences? Well, they’ll probably give it a try. But still, Twitter has the big advantage of a being obsessively focused on this for quite a while.
No doubt, Mark Zuckerberg has done a fantastic job getting Facebook back on track and monetizing it at a healthy pace. But making the service like Twitter has big risks.
If anything, the best strategy would be to outright buy Twitter and keep it as its own brand, as Facebook did with Instagram. With the recent surge in the stock price — and a nice chunk of cash in the bank account — Facebook could certainly make a very attractive offer for the company.
That way, Facebook could keep doing what it does extremely well: being a social network.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.