There has been a lot of talk about what Facebook should do next to boost revenue. Recently Biz Stone mentioned something called “Facebook Premium” and suggested to lose the ads and “maybe some special features” to collect $10 per month.
His idea is just skipping the surface of the water. Although it did get me thinking… What type of feature would entice users to pay for it?
I propose Profile Wikis.
I know what you’re thinking, they already have Facebook Timeline. Yes, but that is automatically generated in chronological order. It’s a great free feature to have, but this builds upon that and could be called something like Facebook Stories.
Of course Facebook may have to think of a better name for this, but essentially it would work very similar to how Wikipedia functions with a Facebook twist.
Let’s say I enable my Wiki page. My friends get a notice that it has been enabled and they are free to apply for editor access if they wish. These approved friends would be allowed to use any of my posted photos, videos, location check-ins, or status updates.
I would have to elect a moderator to approve new edit changes or additions. The wiki page can be set to public, private, or friends only.
The entire Wiki is open ended with no set structure. The best part is that I have no say in what gets written. It is entirely created and approved by my friends, so it is extremely important who I approve. I would get notified of any changes or edits and they could be posted on my timeline if I so choose.
If my friends decide to highlight and approve my addiction with Farmville, then so be it.
I think the Wiki feature itself would be extremely addicting to Facebook users both young and old. Younger kids will fight to gain editor or moderator status. Those of us connecting with old friends can easily catch up to see what we missed. It would also be a great way to remember a friend or loved one who has passed away.
The approval and writing process has to be super clean and slick.
It could be part GitHub and part Wikipedia. Merge the “Wedding” wiki with the “master” wiki once it’s ready for primetime. (Of course Facebook wouldn’t use that type of language, but you get the idea) Create a mockup layout with sections that need to be assigned to specific friends to take on. Who’s in charge of the section on senior year of college?
See a graph of contributions detailing various parts of the Wiki so users get credit they are due. For example, Sally wrote 70% of the wedding section.
The reading experience has to be cutting edge and interactive, perhaps a take on this Rolling Stone article. Let the reader get immersed in the Wiki. Responsive layout for all devices and easily readable. Order a hardcover book if you’d like.
Once this platform is mature, Facebook could even release this software on its own to make collaborative writing an easier process for newspapers and magazines. The possibilities are endless.
This is just ONE feature that Facebook could create under their “Facebook Premium” program.