Will Facebook be able to compete with social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter in years to come? You decide if this social media platform is bound to outlast the competition!
Image courtesy of Flickr user Maany
“You will never guess who I just received a Facebook Friend Request from,” my 66 year old father eagerly said to me one night over dinner. Without giving me a moment to answer, he exclaimed, “Stacey Brustein!” Growing up, my father always told me stories about the first girl, Stacey, whom he had fallen head over heels for in fifth grade and then suddenly moved away, breaking his young heart. As I sat there, I let the question marinate in my head of what was more interesting; the fact that my father had a Facebook or the news that his childhood love had found him online over 50 years later?
In Guiseppe Crosti’s article, Why Facebook Is Here To Stay, he outlines the main reasons that Facebook will continue to thrive as a social networking site. These reasons include Facebook’s “commitment to continuously building and experimenting with new features and apps”, and also the fact that it is “a great platform for anyone 18 and older to stay in contact with peers, near and far, and build and manage friend groups”–a point my father clearly made clear through the Friend Request of a childhood crush (HuffingtonPost.com). However, in todays society, Facebook does not only benefit individual people using the site, but the ever-expanding social media platform is also benefitting businesses. In the article, Facebook Pages for Business, Alyssa Gregory explains the top 6 reasons businesses should have a Facebook page such as how it can teach more about the target audience, and how it gives businesses a chance to humanize their companies (About.com). Forbes backs up this information in the recent article, Social Media is Driving a Business Revolution, where Drew Hendricks describes how CEOs must evolve and adapt to this change in order to remain as competitive in the ever-changing world, and Facebook is just the site to be of assistance (Forbes.com).
As of now, Facebook can be seen as the dominant social networking site through the statistics of its users. According to StatisticBrain.com, the total number of active monthly Facebook users is at a whopping 1.3 billion, and the increase in users from 2012-2013 is a staggering 22%–numbers which many other social networking sites have never even come close to. Even with such positive statistics, Facebook continues to build its business with its most recent acquisition of the mobile app, WhatsApp for $19 billion, aligning with the websites mobile push for sustained success (InsideFacebook.com).
However, with Facebook’s continued success, there are many whom believe that the social networking site will ultimately fail. In Adam Wexler’s article, Why Twitter and LinkedIn Will Outlast Facebook, he explains that “as the Facebook upper age brackets continue to rise, the network becomes increasingly unattractive to the younger generation”, and that Facebook “somehow forgot that the kids hold the keys to the next generation” (Huffington Post.com). With social networking sites such as LinkedIn, a “professional network”, and Twitter, which allows users to keep up with their changing interests, Wexler insists that these are the networks which will surely be bound to last.
For someone like myself, an avid social networking site user, I tend to believe that Facebook will have continued success and will outlast companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter in years to come. LinkedIn, though a wonderful website for those looking for internships and jobs, is limited in what it has to offer, as well as its users. LinkedIn is solely used in a professional manner and many people under the age of 18 and those over the age of 65 are not looking for a “professional network”, whereas Facebook remains popular with all age groups and offers an array of uses to those sign up. With Twitter, though we are able to mend our “timeline” to that which have interest in, I like many of my peers have found ourselves able to receive the same information we collect on there through Facebook and other media outlets (and if we are being honest here, one can only come up with so many clever tweets). For me, my fathers enthusiasm with being able to reconnect with so many people from his past on a website in which he can easily navigate solidifies my decision that Facebook will indeed outlast many of its competitors.
As we continue to evolve as users, Facebook will constantly be right there beside us adapting to the ever-changing world we live in persistently keeping our social networking hunger satiated in all of its many facets.