2009: Facebook to conquer the Netherlands

January 7, 2009

Recently I noticed many more Facebook invites from Dutch people. It’s snowballing I think and I can see why.

Hyves (the Dutch version of Myspace) is the market leader in the Netherlands but it’s layout and audience doesn’t appeal to everybody. Still they use it because everybody is using it. This doesn’t make it good. There’s so many inferior products used by millions of people. Just until something better comes around.

There have been attempts by Dutch startups to become the new Hyves. It hasn’t worked because people were already on Hyves and it’s hard to give them reasons to move. Just giving them a better interface and/or layout wasn’t enough reason to move.

Now Facebook is something else. Facebook is huge and has the power to keep innovating especially with the model where developers from all over the world can add functionality. Another reason that as a Dutch person you still would like to consider Facebook is that you now can also find all your international contacts. The world became smaller with tools like Facebook.

Despite all this Facebook hasn’t been able to seriously win users over from Hyves. But as with all trends this doesn’t happen over night. It can happen when we reach the tipping point. You need specific conditions to allow for such a tipping point.

I think 2009 might be the year where Facebook will see it’s tipping point in the Netherlands and win over many of the users that now just rely on Hyves. People won’t delete their Hyves account, but maybe they will spend more time on other sites besides Hyves. I think one of these sites will be Facebook.

Ian Zein

Ian Zein