Market Analysis and Product Innovation Facebook Inc SWOT

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 5
  • Subject: Business
  • Type: SWOT
  • Paper: #32448512

Excerpt from SWOT :


Market Analysis and Product Innovation: Facebook Inc.

In an increasingly competitive environment, business organizations must remain innovative. They must deliver offerings that resonate with the ever changing needs of the consumer and the operating environment (Akbar & Tzokas, 2013). This often calls for product innovation, which has been marked as a crucial driver of competitive advantage in the contemporary marketplace (Song & Chen, 2014). Nonetheless, product innovation is often not a straightforward undertaking. An organization must have comprehensive understanding of the environment in which it operates, especially in terms of the threats and opportunities it presents, for its products to succeed in the marketplace (Bart, 2002). The organization must also effectively utilize its resources and capabilities to overcome those threats and take advantage of the opportunities (Holahan, Sullivan & Markham, 2014).

One organization that is an epitome of innovation in today's business environment is Facebook Inc., whose social networking service has tremendously revolutionized how individuals and organizations interact. Even so, against the backdrop of increased competition, it is imperative for the company to keep introducing new, innovative offerings if it is to retain its position in the market. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the company's strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats (SWOT), this report provides a product innovation charter (PIC) for the introduction of a new product, precisely an online payment service.

2. Organizational Background

Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg alongside his colleagues, Facebook is an American company that provides an online social networking service for users all over the world. The company has in less than a decade grown to be the largest social media company in the world, with more than one and a half billion active users as well as revenues in excess of $17 billion in 2015 (Facebook, 2015). Originally introduced as an online social platform by Harvard University students, the service has become a major channel for marketing today. Organizations in various sectors and industries have increasingly incorporated the platform in their marketing activities, and the outcomes have generally been tremendous. Facebook has indeed transformed the internet realm, and made the 21st century arguably the best century in history in terms of online social interaction.

3. SWOT Analysis

A major strength of Facebook emanates from the wide-ranging popularity of its social networking service. Approximately 1 billion people across the world actively use the service daily to post, like and share messages, photos, and videos relating to their personal lives as well as friends, relatives, acquaintances, products, services, brands, and organizations (Facebook, 2015). Adding Instagram and Whatsapp, which are also owned by Facebook, the company has users in excess of 2 billion. This popularity gives the service a significant upper hand compared to similar services such as Myspace, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google+.

Additionally, Facebook attracts a much broader user base -- the young and the older, men and women, as well as the educated and the uneducated. This is unlike networks such as Twitter which mainly attract the elite and the educated, or Pinterest, which mainly attracts female users. With its focus on a broader demographic profile, Facebook has allowed its service to be integrated with millions of websites and applications all over the world. This has made the network even more attractive to marketers, who can now link their websites to the platform. The service can as well be accessed from a range of devices including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Other important strengths include robust financial performance, commitment to research and development (R&D), as well as competent leadership and employees.

In spite of these strengths, Facebook has a number of weaknesses. First and foremost, the company is predominantly dependent on advertising, which accounts for approximately 95% of its total revenues as of 2015 (Facebook, 2015). This is a significant weakness given that products and services generally go through a lifecycle. The challenge of overreliance on advertising is further compounded by the service's relatively low click-through-rate (CTR) for ads compared to most advertising websites. This has the potential to drive away marketers to other online marketing platforms. Another weakness is that the service offers little or no customization. In other words, it offers a generally standardized template for all its users, unlike websites such as Pinterest, which usually reflect user's individual needs and personalities. Other notable weaknesses include overdependence on developed markets (especially North America and Europe), widespread instances of impersonation, information privacy concerns, and increasing ad prices.

There are a number of opportunities Facebook can take advantage of to enhance its competitive advantage. For instance, internet connectivity has increased substantially in most parts of the world, including developing countries (Pew Research Center, 2016). This has come against the backdrop of impressive economic growth, increased consumer incomes, and the emergence of powerful mobile devices (International Data Corporation [IDC], 2015). Increased internet connectivity presents significant opportunities for businesses, particularly with regard to online shopping, online marketplaces, online payment solutions, mobile advertising, as well as home internet solutions. With its immense global following, these are opportunities the company can exploit to minimize the risks associated with overdependence on a single revenue stream.

However, Facebook's ability to take advantage of these opportunities may be hindered by a number of threats. Competition is particularly an important threat. Since the birth of Facebook, other equally competitive online social networking platforms have also emerged. These include Youtube, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and Pinterest. Further rivalry comes from search engine companies such as Google and Yahoo as well as online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. The implication is that competition for advertising revenue has increased, placing Facebook at a disadvantage.

Another threat stems from government regulations locally and internationally. As an internet company, Facebook is specifically subject to government regulations relating to information privacy, advertising, the protection of minors, telecommunications, consumer protection, and so on. Some countries such as China and Saudi Arabia have even more stringent regulations for social media, making it difficult for Facebook to thrive in such regulatory environments. Changes in consumer online behavior also pose a threat to Facebook. For instance, internet users are increasingly using extensions to block online ads. Such behaviors increasingly threaten the company's business model. Other considerable threats include the slowing growth of online advertising, identity theft, imitation,…

Sources Used in Document:


Akbar, H., & Tzokas, N. (2013). An exploration of new product development's front-end knowledge conceptualization process in discontinuous innovations. Journal of British Management, 24, 245-263.

Bart, C. (2002). Product innovation charters: mission statements for new products. R&D Management, 32(1), 23-34.

Facebook (2015). Annual Report 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2016 from: Report.pdf

Holahan, P., Sullivan, Z., & Markham, S. (2014). Product development as core competence: how formal product development practices differ for radical, more innovative and incremental product innovations. 31(2), 329-345.

Cite This SWOT:

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