Share your thoughts.
I re-watched The Social Network the other night, and it's funny to think about how much Facebook has grown even in the short time since that film was released. Remember the marketing campaign? "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies."
Much was made about the "cool" factor of Facebook as it was founded. Is it still cool today? Share your thoughts.
Now, it's more like 800 million (a new report says Facebook had 721 million active users earlier this year). The valuation is much higher than reported at the end of the film. That number escapes me at the moment, and I don't have the movie in front of me, but I know it's ridiculously higher now. Recent estimates had it exceeding $80 billion.
As the story goes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg was hesitant to put ads on Facebook when it was getting started. He wanted to see it what it could become first. He didn't want it to lose that "cool" factor, which was also helped by its initial exclusivity to students of certain universities. A lot has changed since those days. Now, there are not only ads, but a huge ad platform that lets advertisers target people based on their likes and interests. And with "Sponsored Stories," something you may have "liked" months ago could show up next to one of your friends' news feeds as a "sponsored story". For example, my colleague Josh told me he saw a sponsored story last night telling him that I like "Bing." These stories are now much more in your face.
But that's business. Facebook needs to monetize this enormous group of people it has, and that's what it's doing. I can hardly knock them for that. But not everyone understands or cares. Why do you think ad blockers are so popular?
Too Many Friends?
According to Facebook, there are 69 billion friendships among their active users. See the four degrees of Facebook.
According to a poll from Poll Position, 14% of Facebook users think they have too many Facebook friends, compared to 9% who said they want more (granted, the rest are ok with the number they currently have).
Too many friends can breed information overload. And if you're friends with everyone you've ever known, there's a good chance some of them are annoying you - especially if they invite you to a lot of apps and games.
There was even a National Unfriend Day created.
Shopping and Bill Pay
According to Gartner Research (as depicted in this infographic from MoonToast (via AllFacebook), companies will generate 50% of web sales via their social presence and mobile apps. It stands to reason that Facebook will be a major factor in that social presence.
However, The Street recently reported on a survey from BillingViews, finding that 87% of people would not be comfortable buying something through Facebook. On top of that, 94% said they wouldn't pay a bill through Facebook. Security was cited as a main concern.
Is Facebook becoming less cool? Tell us what you think.
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