Yesterday, Facebook announced that it will sell gifts users can send to their friends.
Chris Dixon, a successful serial investor and one of New York’s most visible startup investors is sceptical it’ll work.
“Getting users to switch ‘modes’ from online to offline (& vice versa) has historically yielded very low conversion rates,” he tweets.
His point is that when people go to a site for one reason, it’s hard to get them to do anything else.
Users go to Amazon to shop, Match.com for a date, and Craigslist for a free sofa. Users go to Facebook to share photos and maybe read news, not buy things.
Just because a new feature from Facebook appears, doesn’t mean users are going to suddenly start going there to use it.
“It’s all about the mental state. Are you sharing photos online [or] giving something offline? The numbers show it’s hard to switch.”
Other cases in which getting users to switch “modes” from offline to online or back again, that hasn’t worked include “showing URLs in TV ads or magazines” or “trying to sell anything on [a] social network.”
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