A Model for Facebook: China's Tencent

Monday, I profiled Tencent, China's largest Internet company. Wednesday, Facebook announced the launch of their location-based app, and I noted that the company is looking more and more like a business, and less like a piece of technology.

In the wake of Facebook's announcement, a Chinese investment banker wrote in with this perspective about the company's new strategy:

The natural analogy [for Facebook] is Tencent. Slow follower as I have called them (though that is entirely unfair since they did do the virtual goods thing earlier and better than most).
The beauty of Goog is that the cash machine was just one machine. FB will need to stack a lot of businesses together. Again, Tencent proves that the most important thing is the user base. Monetization is easy on a sticky base, even if you have to essentially build a myriad of businesses.

It's a good point. If you look at Tencent's business, they began with an IM service, which is a kind of social network. Once they'd built the best network, they started rolling out different products like mobile services, games, virtual goods, and more involved social tools.

Presented by

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In