While Facebook has enjoyed tremendous success in most parts of the world, recently reaching a 100 million active users, it has had real problems growing in Germany. Certainly because Studivz is a strong competition, stronger than I anticipated.
Now Facebook hired Smaboo, a company two friends of mine started a while ago to help them grow in the German market. So first, Congratulations to Adrian, Christoph and Marko for getting this deal with the hottest Startup!
They want students to organize Facebook parties in their universities.
But from a Facebook view, this cries for Desperateness to grow in this very contested market. This is the first time I have heard Facebook SPEND money in order to grow (I am not 100% sure that Facebook is spending money, but I certainly hope so for Smaboo, the students seem to be getting gadgets and party invitations more than real money). Their growth so far has been totally viral and free, they did not even pay the translation of the site.
Looking at the numbers, they are defintely not that exciting for Facebook:
It has 816′000 users in Germany, merely 1% of the population. Facebook France on the other hand boasts 3.3 million users, representing 5.2 % of the population. Or Switzerland, where 660′000 users represent 8.7 % of all Swiss.
It could also mean that Facebook is very confident that they will earn their money back with advertising once they have the necessary amount of users.
Essentially, Facebook is now copying Studivz in their marketing efforts to get German students on the platform, after they sued Studivz for having a similar design.