Facebook started as a ‘social networking site’ when it was launched in February 2004 by a former Harvard student. Initially, membership was restricted to students on campus, but subsequently expanded to most Ivy League schools. Later, networks were initiated for high schools and some large companies.


Sites like MySpace still leads Facebook with 70 million users, but facebook cannot be totally useless! Otherwise how could anyone explain that the site has 58 million active users and membership surpassed 60 million by the end of 2007? It also surpassed Flickr with over 70 million photos uploaded weekly.


How can facebook be useless when it has 250,000 registrations per day; over 55,000 regional work-related and collegiate networks; more than 65 billion views per month; it’s the sixth-most trafficked site in the US; people spend an average 20 minutes on the site daily; it’s the number 1 photo sharing application on the web with more than 14 million photos uploaded daily and more than 6 million active user groups on the site.


After the US with 21 million users comes Canada with 7 million, then comes the UK, Australia, Turkey, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, France, Hong Kong and then comes Lebanon at number 19 with over 190,000 users (ahead of China, Japan and Switzerland).


With so many views per day, facebook is a gold mine for marketers, with information about the music you like, your sex, age, location, political views, etc. It’s not surprising that Microsoft and Facebook announced a deal where Microsoft would pay $240 million for a 1.6% stake in the social networking site; which makes Facebook worth approximately $ 15 billion!


So, why is facebook so outrageously popular? Would it be Hot Today, Gone Tomorrow? Is it possible that the youthful user base will soon abandon it to the next “new” thing? Or is facebook so outrageously popular because people are moving away from emails! Would the email fade away as fast as it started! I cannot honestly think of one genuine answer to any of those questions.


Up until a month ago, I never used facebook. One of my relatives made me sign up and join so that I could be her ‘friend’. Admittedly I still do not have much experience on facebook; and so far do not find it addictive or irresistible as some do. May be I do not have the right ‘social network’ or I am not the right age.


Although I do not have worries about Big Brother, I still find it creepy that people post their entire life online for all to see. The question remains, does what happens on facebook stay in the facebook?



For the facebook literate, it should be easy to set up a limited profile which only gives limited access to certain people. But this would not be good for business networking. So, if you want to make use of the business possibilities, better set up two accounts – one for work and one for non-work friends.


So, how many times did you get Poked today,

and how is your Tweeter!



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