Facebook started as an idea, grew into a website and now is becoming a platform.
A new service, called Ordr.in, aims to allow people to order food while on Facebook, never having to leave the site to have a meal delivered to their house. The service is mainly offered in and around New York City for now, but the owners plan to expand nationally.
An article promoting the rollout offered insights into how the restaurant industry is a technology laggard, slow to adapt to new products and services online. The same can be said for the auto finance industry.
A few months ago, I wrote a post wondering if websites were even necessary today. Between Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social networking sites, why does a lender need a website? What can a website offer that any of these other networking sites can't?
If Ordr.in can succeed as a tool that integrates into Facebook, why can't car loan applications be integrated as well? Integrating with a site like Facebook is awesome for a brand because you can use the site (or platform) to promote in real-time. When I order food from Ordr.in, an entry is put into my timeline, sharing the news with all my friends. Lenders could offer the same kind of updates. "Mike was just approved for an auto loan with ABC Credit Union. Click here to apply for your own car loan today," could start popping up on Facebook walls across the country.
The internet will never stop evolving. New technologies that open new doors will keep exploding. The shelf-life of items that are "Trending Now" will continue to shrink, and lenders will have to adapt or become extinct.
There was a time when site recommendations would be so ridiculous that you wondered if a blind monkey was guessing what other items I'd like when I was making a purchase. But those monkeys have gotten a lot smarter. And they will keep getting smarter.
It's not hard to envision an internet where people don't need to visit websites. Links from friends, curated news feeds, and algorithms powered by artificial intelligence will tell me everything I want to know without my having to go look for it. Lenders need to prepare for that.