Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why Did Facebook Become So Popular?

With social media giant Myspace on the prowl, how could anything like Facebook become so popular so fast? It seemed as though everyone and their dog was on Myspace just a few years ago. In short, Facebook had a better marketing plan.

Facebook, as many of us know, was founded by Harvard University drop-out Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg created Facebook as an exclusive social networking website for Harvard University students. By only allowing individuals with Harvard student ID's it instantly made Facebook "cool," like you were part of something special and unique. After it was popular among the Harvard University student body, Facebook was introduced to a few neighboring universities as well.

Facebook continued this process until nearly every university was included in this Facebook "niche." By this point, Facebook was a buzz word among college students, and when Facebook was finally open to the public, everyone already knew what Facebook was about and was ready to join. At this point in the journey, Facebook was already destined to succeed.

There are a few things to point out as well pertaining to the different interfaces between Facebook and Myspace. Myspace, even today, has giant ads on their homepage before you login and even some after you login. Facebook, on the other hand, has zero ads on the homepage before you login and small ads on the side after you login which create no inconvenience for the users. Also, Facebook waited until it was hugely popular before introducing Facebook advertising.

Myspace's interface allowed users to create unique backgrounds, play music, hide comments, etc. Facebook followed Google's example and understood the power of less. Everything on Facebook is clean and organized, which is very pleasing to the eye.

Facebook also understood the potential it had for businesses, and began to gear much of what they do towards helping companies increase their online presence through their network. As a result, you see Facebook getting free advertising everywhere with every business inviting their readers, followers, viewers, etc. to join their Facebook page.

Basically, Facebook was geared toward the user's experience on their site while Myspace was primarily focused on the sponsors.
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