I’ve been on Facebook for two years now (a newbie in my generation’s terms) and have yet to demonstrate my insights here. How could I not write about a site that I share with more than 500 million people, that has more than 30 billion pieces of content shared (links, notes, photos, etc.) and 700 billion minutes of time spent per month? (Here’s the source of these ridiculous statistics.) Well that’s about to change.
Facebook is so large it could be its own continent. It has more users than the entire world population in 1600AD. Check this chart out to put it into context.
This article in Web Pro News goes into a great analysis about the size of Facebook, if you’re nerdy like me and dig this stuff.
So what do you write about when a site is nearly the size of Asia? The opportunities are endless. They say to write what you know. So let’s talk about my generation.
Increasingly, Facebook is seen as a personal haven for life’s little nuances on all ranges of the adorable to absurd spectrum. Networking tends to be minimal as people find places like Twitter and LinkedIn to be more appropriate. When networking, the sharing of Twitter handles and iPhone bumping with LinkedIn connections tends to be the norm. If you ask someone to friend you on Facebook, you are (or you’re ready to be) “friends.” For real.
With so many social networks buzzing about the world wide web like bees on my tulip-filled garden, it’s key to differentiate their purposes. (Yes, my garden is finally experiencing life, and if you don’t know what I’m referring to, check out my self-help garden post.) Otherwise, they can each become dying breeds fending for their lives via user interaction. My takeaway to date is this:
The Social Diva Facebook is the perfect place for sharing photos and stories, links that demonstrate personal interests, making plans, wishing each other happy birthday, etc. To sum it up, it’s a great place to chat. Consider it the world’s largest Starbucks with cushy couches, yummy drinks and the ability to converse as loud and as long as you want as long as you’re drinking the Kool Aid. Or the Mocha Frappuccino.
The Vested Extravert This is a place for those that speak their mind. It gives them a platform to be empowered. Often times these users are vested in something important to them and they’re not afraid to share information (links mainly), experiences (b0th complaints and compliments) and hastags about these topics. While social opportunities are abound, the business hat is peeking its brim as users tout their professional opinions and network. All in 140 characters or less. A true differentiation.
Workaholic. Period. LinkedIn is more of a place to work than play, however, it does add Twitter feeds, photos and forums to the mix, so anything goes, really. Predominately, it’s a networker’s haven and can really start new business relationships, recruiting opportunities as well as showcase organization’s amazing cast of employees. Call it business casual with a side of buttoned up.
There are dying breeds out there. The reason is simple: their mantras are outperformed. Take these guys for example:
And while I admit to using Dogster, I can certainly attest to its demise (remind me to write about that sometime soon). To put it simply, Facebook services the needs of their clientele better than MySpace or Dogster. And when you’re going for the same citizens as Facebook, you better have a unique differentiator. Otherwise, you’ll get booted off the island. Or continent. We are living a reality show of social networks and Facebook is winning the amazing race.