In recent times there have been an increasing interest in wearables with people wanting to have technology which can be an integral part of their outdoor experiences while still helping them stay connected. Now with Facebook acquiring Moves, a Finnish fitness mobile application firm, we can see social media making moves to integrate wearable tech into their future strategy.
Wearable technology has already got a lot of hoopla around it, what with more and more major technology firms developing new age devices such as watches, fitness bands and so on. However the game will probably revolve around the software aspect and not the hardware aspect. As companies like Apple and Samsung, primarily technology companies, enter this domain, fitness firms like Nike are exiting the domain as they recognize the gradual commoditization of the fitness wearables industry.
The primary focus of the acquisition of Moves is data. However the question remains as to how pertinent/ relevant this data is for Facebook and more importantly, brands who advertise on Facebook. Wearable technology is limited, both in terms of what data can be shared and equally importantly as to how that data can help brands tailor their products / offerings. Even though Moves does acquire location data even if the app is not opened, usage of such data by Facebook could bring serious privacy concerns which could harm them in the long run and open them up to FCC investigations.
Another way of looking at the acquisition is Facebook acquiring any community which threatens to shake it’s hold on the existing user base. Thus the acquisitions of Instagram and Whatsapp help Facebook stay relevant for its audience and keep their tenuous hold on a increasingly ageing audience as the younger crowd switches to more current apps and social media communities.