Facebook’s Evolution: Biting off Chunks of the SN Market!

How long is Facebook going to stay, as I may call it, “The Big Boss” when it comes to Social Networking sites? Are Facebook’s continuous efforts to bite off chunks of the social network market proving to be successful and how much of the chunks can it digest? Are there any currently available sites which can confidently say they are competing at the same level with Facebook?

Founded February 4, 2004 with the aim to “Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”, we have been more than aware of, and even impressed with, how Facebook has been on top of the game since the beginning. By taking chunks of the social networking market and offering a more comprehensive service and wholesome user experience to its users, Facebook its proving, day by day, its commitment to improvement and innovation through researching its current and potential customer needs and creating features and applications that meet them accordingly!

  • Facebook added the photos features. This, coupled with their SN platform, provided a great method for people to share private photos and even for professionals to use it as a portfolio and in turn gave Facebook a chunk out of the social photo sharing segment such as Flickr.
  • Moreover, Facebook added a videos service allowing people to share videos between friends and with better privacy options. So, that’s how Facebook took a chunk out of the social video sharing market, like Youtube.
  • In August 2006, Facebook Notes, which currently has 21,456 fans and proved to be highly social and easy to use, was introduced allowing Facebook to obtain a chunk of the blogsphere market.
  • In February 2007, Facebook added a new gift feature to the website, which, in my humble opinion, was a way to obtain a segment of the online greeting cards market.
  • In May 2007, Facebook acquired a chunk of Web 2.0’s mashups market segment by launching its SN platform.
  • In July 2007, Facebook allowed users to post attachments to their walls, which was most likely an attempt to replace or dilute the use of e-mails thus biting of a chunk of the e-mail users market.
  • In another conquest, Facebook introduced fan pages and groups that highly resemble forums thus allowing Facebook to take out a chunk of the social forums market.
  • What about Facebook chat? Well, it seems that it was a try to take a chunk of the instant messaging market (I can’t assert how successful this was, but I’m sure many people tried and are still using it!)
  • On December 2008, Facebook opened the gates with “Facebook Connect”. This in turn helped FaceBook take a chunk of the Open Authentication systems like OpenID.
  • Now, I come to the news article that got me thinking about writing this piece, the latest Facebook conquest was: Obtaining a chunk of the micro-blogging market, the one Twitter is it’s king, through opening status updates. A new application, RSS Feeds, makes use of this new feature.

What do you think would be the next market chunk Facebook is going to bite off? And will the following step be integrating music and playlists into the default Facebook site rather than an added application?

P.S: Thank you swardraws of Flikr for the sandwich photo.

The Future of Our Privacy: Down the Drain It Goes!

This decade seems to be heading towards an endless whirlpool of privacy breaching, mind controlling trend which appears to have the power to lure more and more audience without any deeper reflections upon issues such as: How is this going to invade my personal space? Do I really want people to know what I do, what clips I watch and where I spend my time?

“Shocked, revolted and frightened”… That is exactly how I felt after having read this article posted yesterday at Techcrunch entitled “First Look: We Take YouTube RealTime For A Spin”
And now I’m screaming out loud: What is this world coming to?

With the wide range of “stalking tools” now available at everybody’s finger tips, we can now track the physical location of our “friends” using Google Latitude, follow up on what they are doing through Twitter text-based messages, find photos of you and your friends that are not tagged via Facebook Face Recognition and further have the power to know who is watching what and when through the latest trailing device Youtube Real-time!

Thinking about this issue, I can’t help but wonder: Why do we call for human rights and fight endlessly for our right to privacy when we, willingly, fly into the nests of freedom-free boundaries? Is technology so overwhelmingly seductive that we can’t but welcome it with open arms and allow it to take over what is rightfully ours?

To be fair, allow me to talk about my personal experience regarding this matter. Since I turned 16, I have been more than uptight about anyone asking me about my whereabouts, it used to annoy me! I also used to hate it when people used to constantly nag to know what is bothering me and why. Yet, with the introduction of the “almighty” Facebook and the status feeds, I found myself sucked into the cycle of letting people know when I’m down and why without them even asking. I am also confident that if I hadn’t taken a moment to reflect on what Google Latitude is about, I would have allowed others to know where I am without feeling stalked!

Personally, I think the fact that we are trained to believe that we have a choice whether to use a certain service/tool or not is the most alluring trap of all! But if everyone else is using it, do we really have a choice?

Think about it!

Note: Thank you Adam Zyglis for the cartoon.

The e-Flu: Are you infected?

When did the common cold become such a welcomed phenomena? With the constant evolution of the Internet, Web marketing has rapidly transformed the term “viral” from a universally fearful term associated with disease into a welcomed – sought after – marketing strategy. Since the beginning, Web services which excelled in building interactive, dynamic and social […]

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