Thursday, July 22, 2010

FreshNetworks Blog: Why is Facebook such a success?

Our last post looked at Facebook’s announcement yesterday that it had reached 500 million users. A huge number but it should not be mistaken as proof that Facebook is now ubiquitous. However, Facebook’s growth is impressive both because of the size the social network and the way it has grown when alternative social networks have been less explosive.

Yesterday, I appeared on BBC News talking about exactly this issue. Amongst the many reasons why Facebook is a success (and I’m sure that an element of luck and good timing is, of course, in that mix), I explain why I think two things have made a real difference:

1. Having some really good products that have helped people and change the way they connect with people online. Most notably the photos product – by allowing an easy way for people to share photos and associate people with the photos they are in (through tags) they have created a powerful tool that many people use. In many ways Facebook is to photos what YouTube is to videos.
2. Making it really easy for people to set up their own groups. For individual users this means that their experience of Facebook is often made up of their connections and the groups of these that they are part of. It is a huge social network made up of lots of little groups. This second point is great for user created groups but adds to the reasons why Facebook is a difficult place to play for brands and is not always the answer to their social media strategy.

Below is the BBC News piece from yesterday that I am interviewed for, we’d love your thoughts on this and why you think that Facebook is such a success.
FreshNetworks Blog by Matt Rhodes


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