“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.” – Mark Zuckerberg
When something is made into a movie, we know that something is very popular. Otherwise, movie producers wouldn’t waste their time on such a thing. So when the trailer of the movie, The Social Network was released, people were not much surprised. For not only is Facebook that popular, it has become part of their staple food, so to speak. The majority of us use Facebook and it has become part of our lives.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, here’s a brief history:
Originally called thefacebook, Facebook was founded by former Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (while still at Harvard) who created the company as one of his hobby projects with some financial help from Eduardo Saverin. Within months, Facebook and its core idea spread across the dorm rooms of Harvard where it was very well received. Soon enough, it was extended to Stanford and Yale where, like Harvard, it was widely endorsed.
Before he knew it, Mark Zuckerberg was joined by two other fellow Harvard classmates – Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes – to help him grow the site to the next level. Only months later when it was officially a national student network phenomenon, Zuckerberg and Moskovitz dropped out of Harvard to pursue their dreams and run Facebook full time. In August 2005, thefacebook was officially called Facebook and the domain Facebook.com was purchased for a reported $200,000.
Zuckerberg seemed to be going nowhere but up, but in 2006 the business mogul faced his first big hurdle. The creators of Harvard Connection claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea, and insisted the software developer needed to pay for their business losses. Zuckerberg maintained that the ideas were based on two very different types of social networks but, after lawyers searched Zuckerberg’s records, incriminating Instant Messages revealed that Zuckerberg may have intentionally stolen the intellectual property of Harvard Connection and offered Facebook users’ private information to his friends.
Zuckerberg later apologized for the incriminating messages, saying he regretted them. “If you’re going to go on to build a service that is influential and that a lot of people rely on, then you need to be mature, right?” he said in an interview with The New Yorker. “I think I’ve grown and learned a lot.”
Although an initial settlement of $65 million was reached between the two parties, the legal dispute over the matter continued well into 2011, after Narendra and the Winklevosses claimed they were misled in regards to the value of their stock.
Zuckerberg faced yet another personal challenge when the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires, by writer Ben Mezrich, hit stores. Mezrich was heavily criticized for his re-telling of Zuckerberg’s story, which used invented scenes, re-imagined dialogue and fictional characters. Regardless of how true-to-life the story was, Mezrich managed to sell the rights of the tale to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and the critically acclaimed film The Social Network received eight Academy Award nominations.
Zuckerberg objected strongly to the film’s narrative, and later told a reporter at The New Yorker that many of the details in the film were inaccurate. For example, Zuckerberg has been dating longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American medical student he met at Harvard, since 2003. He also said he never had interest in joining any of the final clubs. “It’s interesting what stuff they focused on getting right; like, every single shirt and fleece that I had in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own,” Zuckerberg told a reporter at a start-up conference in 2010. “So there’s all this stuff that they got wrong and a bunch of random details that they got right.”
Yet Zuckerberg and Facebook continued to succeed, in spite of the criticism. Time magazine named him Person of the Year in 2010, and Vanity Fair placed him at the top of their New Establishment list. Forbes also ranked Zuckerberg at No. 35—beating out Apple CEO Steve Jobs—on its “400” list, estimating his net worth to be $6.9 billion.
So the movie was not entirely correct. Perhaps, that is understandable as movie directors tend to spice up the plot. But there is no doubt, Facebook has become the greatest social network on Earth.
So, according to that infographic made just a couple of years ago, the average Facebook user is 38 years old. We would have thought that it would be teenagers that will be the bulk of users, but no. The Facebook appeal has been great for adults. Why is that so?
Here’s a study made by the Pew Research Center proving that Facebook indeed is the platform of choice of adults:
“Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind. Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms. Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis.” These are among the key findings on social networking site usage and adoption from a new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.
Despite recent growth by services such as Pinterest and Instagram, Facebook remains the dominant social networking platform
As in previous Pew Research surveys of social networking usage, Facebook remains the dominant player in the social networking space. Some 71% of online adults are now Facebook users, a slight increase from the 67% of online adults who used Facebook as of late 2012.
A report by CBS also shows that parents are enjoying Facebook as much as their children. And it seems, when parents started connecting with their children, the latter are no longer are as happy as their parents. You guess why.
But the question still remains. What is the reason why Facebook appeals to adults? We actually have five reasons for that.
A study by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., published in Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking found that viewing and editing your Facebook profile could boost your self-esteem. This research is based on Objective Self-Awareness theory, as reported by Adoree Durayappah, in a Psychology Today article. The theory suggests that people the view the self as both a subject and an object, and that Facebook can be a tool to promote greater self-awareness.
Jeffrey Hancock at Cornell University has published research in the Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking journal which concludes Facebook can have a positive influence on the self-esteem of college students because Facebook by and large, shows a very positive version of ourselves.
While many may argue that social media networks only distract employees, research shows the opposite may be true.
Research from David Mielach found that a 10-minute Facebook break makes employees happier, healthier and more productive.
The study examined workers in three groups: one that was allowed no breaks, one that was allowed to do anything but use the Internet and one that was allowed 10 minutes to use the Internet and Facebook. The Facebook group was found to be 16 percent more productive than the group that was not allowed to use the Internet and nearly 40 percent more productive than the group that was allowed no breaks.
“Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf on the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher net total concentration for a day’s work, and as a result, increased productivity,” said Brent Coker of the department of management and marketing at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
Imagine that, Facebook helps with productivity. Well, it does seem possible, as a happy worker is a busy worker.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Facebook platform. I know that I need to be on it because I have spent years building a brand with a small, but study group of followers, yet I know it really hasn’t added much to my life in the way of real new friendships or business opportunities.
So, the question remains, if it doesn’t get me new friends or business, why do I spend so much time on the site? Working on a tight deadline today, I was feeling the stress. I needed some relief, but instead of getting up and taking a walk, I logged onto the Facebook site. In an instant, I was into the lives of other people which helped calm my nerves.
I didn’t have a second to spare, yet I still logged onto Facebook. Why would I do that? Because we all need some relief from our stressful lives and with the Internet sites within a click away, we are able to stay in our seat and still venture out of our “stress-zone”, where we can look at pictures of people we like seeing, including ourselves, and read inspirational messages from those that send them our way every day.
There can be no doubt that this is true since Facebook has become our number one pastime. For some, as we’ve mentioned before, it has become staple food. Our day will not be complete without Facebook. Take out Facebook from our lives and we might show withdrawal symptoms.
30 minutes is of course an exaggeration. But make it 4 days, who knows?
There have been some great posts on the Econsultancy blog discussing the changing state of Facebook and the reach of organic and promoted content, as well as the options available. Edwyn Raine recently wrote ‘the combination of a variety of advert formats and a highly affordable media network make it gold dust to reach new customers.’
Essentially it’s a good way to educate potential customers as to your offering.
Pricing is a particular bonus of Facebook advertising as Facebook’s model is to promote good content that customers are interested in. That means, the better your ads perform, the higher click-through rate, and the lower the CPC.
Add to this increasing costs in the uber -competitive AdWords and Facebook is tempting lots of people in to play. First quarter results saw Facebook’s profits at $642m. As you can see from the chart below, ads are Facebook.
Facebook has shown us the money. What is great about advertising on Facebook is that you can choose your own demographic. Because a lot of user’s personal information is on Facebook, including location, requesting for a specific kind of audience is easy. That’s why Facebook is king among all other social networks.
And the number one reason why Facebook appeals to adults is…drum roll please…
Facebook is also in the business of matchmaking.
Research shows that nearly 60 percent of singles will friend someone new on Facebook after meeting them in person. If they like what they see, 25 percent are likely to contact their new love interest via Facebook.
Once the courting is over, nearly 40 percent of those social networking adults will update their relationship status on Facebook, with just 24 percent telling their friends first.
Facebook use between couples will continue through the dating process, the research shows. Throughout the day, 79 percent of couples said they send partners Facebook messages or chat on the social network. In addition, more than 60 percent would post romantic messages on their significant others’ Facebook wall.
Yes, that last reason has enough appeal for adults to log in on Facebook. Happy hunting!