The opinion of the co-founder and executive director of the marketing company Somo, Karl Uminsky.
In the summer of 2022, Facebook plans to release its first “smart” watch. This is not surprising, says Uminski: the company often chases trends and copies competitors. This is how “stories” and Reels appeared on Instagram.
The social network has a bad reputation in terms of privacy — all because of the data leakage of millions of users in the 2010s. Therefore, the idea of entrusting the device from Facebook with information about health and location does not inspire confidence, the author writes
According to the columnist, Facebook is not the platform on which people would like to track their heart rate or calories consumed. And here’s why.
Facebook didn’t Have its Own Truly Successful Devices
In 2013, the company together with HTC released the HTC First smartphone-but the device was unsuccessful, according to Uminsky. The product plummeted in price from $99 to 99 cents just a month after the start of sales, and then disappeared from the shelves in the same year. In total, the partners sold more than 15 thousand smartphones.
In 2018, Facebook released Portal-a “smart” display with the function of video calls in Messenger and WhatsApp. This is the only product released by the company’s own hardware department — Building 8. The author writes that this decision was already more far-sighted, especially during the pandemic, when video calls became popular. However, the company does not publish sales data, and it is sold at large discounts on Amazon.
The company also had a successful experience. Sales of the latest version of the Oculus 2 virtual reality headset have surpassed sales of all previous versions combined. However, Facebook did not create, but bought Oculus.
The market for “smart” watches has already “matured”
Uminski believes that there are already strong players in the market of wearable devices and it will be difficult to compete with them. Each of the companies has its own advantages:
The Apple Watch’s dependence on the iPhone is more of a plus than a disadvantage. The ecosystem helps sales: only 8% of users assume that they will switch to another brand when buying the next phone.
According to the author, the “smart” Fitbit watches” average ” track the user’s health indicators, but they have good functionality, which is suitable for fitness lovers.
Garmin watches are chosen by those who follow health and tasks for the day, and Withings are connoisseurs of style.
It is difficult to guess which category Facebook will fit into, writes Uminski: whether their product will become premium or will fall in price again and end up at the end of the rating.
“Smart” watches can really change the reputation of Facebook in the device market, the author notes. Especially if you manage to integrate a camera and the Internet into the watch and sell them at an affordable price. No company has ever been able to do this yet.
According to rumors, Facebook plans to release a watch with two cameras at once. In addition, the company can become a partner of Ray-Ban in the launch of “smart” glasses that are under development.
Facebook’s “move fast and break stereotypes” principle can also cause a failed launch. Long production times, high quality requirements and a large production volume contradict the Facebook philosophy, says Uminsky.