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Some reasons behind the success of Facebook

It is time to write some about facebook - the fastest growing social networking site right now. I have been using it for several weeks now that many of my friends in sweden has started using it. It started out as a networking site for college students but has opened up for anyone lately. In August it had some 19 million unique visitors compared to the 60 million accessing myspace. [according to this article] So why is facebook such a success? I have been using it for some weeks now and here is some reasons I see. [1. it really looks good] So what is the secret behind facebooks success? Compared to myspace it is really good looking. But myspace may be one of the worst looking web apps there is out there. [2. anyone can extend it] Ok - maybe not anyone but anyone with some skill in HTML can extend it which has resulted in a multitude of good, not-so-good and really bad applications for the platform. With this kind of extensibility it really is a platform. Some might call it a framework. Read more in the developer wiki. The business counterpart of facebook - LinkedIn - announced in June that they will release an API as well. This is surely made to counter facebook. [3. it is addictive] As ypulse notices there are concerns about possible negative effects on productivity. But new things are addictive for a while and then it turns out if they are useful. If so people continue to use them because they are needed - if not - they die. [4. anyone can extend it revisited] Another cool thing with the extensibility is that existing social networking sites like del.icio.us, ilike, last.fm, flickr, flixster and so on are adding facebook integration. This may be the biggest reason of the success of facebook - you can use it as it is and you can access and alter your 3 other favorite social networking sites. And your friend can see your web presence in one place.

Old comments

2007-09-26Hardy Ferentschik
Well, I joined facebook on an invitation of Fredrik's two weeks ago. Since then I received already 10 new invitations. Not that I mind, but I must say so far has facebook failed to impress me. And what is wrong with keeping track of friends and contacts in a good old address book (be it electronic or the good old filofax). All I need is name, email and maybe phone number.

Anyone wants to bet how long it takes until Google buys Facebook?

--Hardy
2007-09-30Fredrik Rubensson
I am not surprised by your attitude towards facebook. :-) I am somewhat inclined to agree. But then I think: what if facebook is not "yet another social networking site" but rather a new platform? Well - we don't know yet.... (Funny - it is the same kind of dicussion we had about second life - isn't it?)
2007-10-01Hardy Ferentschik
Yeah it is the same sort of discussion. Which makes me believe I will never come up with the next big killer application. All the ideas taking off at the moment I would have discarded if they would have been mine. :(
2008-08-29Peter
Great article. The feeling of not being "social isolated" i also think is one of the main reasons why Facebook is such a success.
I found this article wich also discripes it in a good way:
The success of Facebook
2011-03-26yash garg
Facebook is boring......and i am feed up of using facebook.....i am only here because my friend and family are here and i just want to interact with them.....Facebook is not at all interesting for people who do mot play Zynga.com games on it.....so if any fb official is reading my post so please make .....make fb more interesting for people like me......make fb useful for a person who visit fb for few minutes only...this is not one is BEST because if you make site useful for each and every one....then its okays....or else a BYE from my SIDE.
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