Everyone around the Web has seen the ‘like’ buttons from Facebook. And Facebook is collecting all of that information. They’re also collecting information about the way you interact with your friends — stuff you share with them, stuff they click on, who comments on what. It has all of this data and because it has all that data, it becomes a very valuable advertising company, but it can also move into other areas of the tech business. They’ve added an app for iPhone and Android phones that allows customers to text message with each other and bypass the cell phone text messaging system. And they’ll create a lot more of those kinds of apps in the future.
— Farhad Manjoo on Facebook’s business model.