Facebook is social networking? Yes. Was it the first social networking website? No, What were others? It could be MySpace, Xanga, Friendster. Where are they? They are all history. Why? Because facebook runs a very successful developer network which it can leverage to create new attractions for users and build the traffic.
Some facebook app developers are very successful that they have gone public even earlier than facebook itself. I would say the app developer and facebook are preforming a kind of symbiosis ecosystem:
– App developers use their creativities to enrich the facebook users : providing them games, entertainment, fun, news, gossips. Facebook need to do nothing but can keep number of users growing and satisfied.
– In return, facebook allows developers get access (it can be free / paid) to user’s friend list (under users permission) to do viral marketing for their products / services / websites for free.
Another Facebook’s smart move is the product they roll out – they can always add a little tweak to better engage their users. An example is photo. Photo is not just upload and sharing, but enables you to tag people / place name in the photo, which is pretty cool, even though it is nothing new. When you look at a group photo, you might want to know who is who just like the caption of a news photo.
I has been a facebook user for 4 years, however, am spending less and less time on it because
– There are some more specific social networking website available. e.g. LinkedIn (jobs and profession)
– I have already found and met enough old friends in the first few months
– I am not keen on sharing everything to everybody, but I do not want to learn how to restrict which groups / friends / people can read my message
Nowadays, I am consuming facebook for content (Pages) more than anything else. Next, I will talk about how facebook can still monetize through users like me via their advertising!