Yet another successful business venture has come into being with Facebook.
What started out as something small, or an idea, has transformed into a billion dollar industry (the company is worth 100 billion dollars – Blodget, H. May 18, 2012 ).
Others might be tempted to follow in Mark Zuckerberg’s footsteps, the genius and hard-working Harvard graduate founder of Facebook, and come up with their own unique ideas. Perhaps people have had enough of these particular ideas already. However, in an era of wealth creation, and creative ideas flourishing, the sky is the limit really.
Where others failed, Facebook succeeded. Most people today recognize Facebook over most other social networking media sites like MySpace, Twitter and Friendster. Twitter however has more IPOs than Facebook, so Facebook had better be careful of the competition catching up. So what does Facebook have that others do not have?
A balanced approach will be taken in analysing two-fold effect about Facebook. Firstly, there is Facebook as a web-site, and secondly, the company behind Facebook, all with Mark Zuckerberg at its helm.
Firstly, the Facebook web-site has the following features to look at:
A variety of people use Facebook, “from civilians to politicians, actors and actresses, music bands and charity organizations and just about anybody with a computer and Internet access” Uehara, R.J. . There are over 500 million users on the site. My own brothers and sister use Facebook, and seem to enjoy it, and I say seem; I decided not to use it. Is this 500 million users enough numbers for Facebook, or should there be more for a company of this calibre?
- The web-site has it all
The Facebook web-site has “updates, photos, videos and links” on one page Uehara, R.J. But Facebook does not have everything, for example, music, which will be explored later. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook should analyse public opinion about this and see what people want in the platform; really, this should have done a long time ago.
The web-site has blue and white on every page, and maybe it means something, but this colour scheme looks classical, rich, crisp and eye-catching. There are also few graphics and each profile page looks identical. A redesign had some changes, but not all, with key elements of the former interface preserved, creating familiarity Uehara, R.J.
On a personal level, I have looked at Facebook’s web-site interface from time-to-time and I could not tell of many changes, so something must be working well.
Only the contacts and their updates a Facebook user keep regular contact with are shown on a users news feed, whilst others are filtered Uehara, R.J. This creates a convenient and user-friendly atmosphere for Facebook participants.
Games have made a strong name for Facebook. Some current users left other social networking sites, like MySpace and Friendster, because of Facebook games and entertainment, such as “Farmville and Backyard Monsters” Uehara, R.J. Some other sites have had to imitate Facebook’s games approach, like Friendster. The Internet has a lot of games for people of all ages to play, probably too many games, that is the problem, which can take away from the popularity of Facebook’s games. But Facebook is popular, and because of this, its games are popular too.
I don’t like playing video games because they can be too addictive. My mother took our old Nintendo system away because my younger brother and I were always fighting over it and getting obsessed, tense and aggressive because of it.
There is no need to click the refresh button for updates as information is real-time. This gives Facebook that sense of reality Internet, and giving the user a feeling of being here and now, or in the present.
However, Facebook might not have it all, after all. One thing Facebook lacks that others have, such as MySpace and Reddit, is music. Music is almost like food to one’s stomach, except for your ears; so it is quite surprising how there was no music on Facebook.
As stated earlier, Facebook can undertake, or possibly carry out, so many things if it wants to, like music, but the question remains why doesn’t it, and if Facebook can handle it all Uehara, R.J.
This is the biggest problem for Facebook and is the reason why I myself, and many others, do not use Facebook. Users’ information can be used in advertisements for example, and there are other privacy and security issues; but are these disclosed properly and sufficiently to the public?
A number of platforms were hacked recently with Yahoo and Facebook among them. The simple username and password format may be too easy for hackers to access and this privacy issue is something Facebook and other social media need to look at. According to Dave Roos and his article on ‘Hacking and Social Networks’, “hacking into social networks requires very little technical skill”…”The problem with online social networks is that they have no built-in authentication system to verify that someone is indeed who they say they are.” Roos, D. 1998-2013
This hacking problem happened to me just recently. I received an email stating my Yahoo account was being attempted to be accessed, or hacked, from an outside source in another country. This happened on a bigger scale to my Yahoo account with staff at Yahoo sending messages to users letting them know of attempted hacking of the platform.
Surely Mark Zuckerberg and those behind Facebook would have known this and should have rectified such issues by now. But Uehara states, “ignorance is bliss” for Facebook, and other social media sites like it Uehara, R.J. This might be the case perhaps for now but this huge problem area can come back to haunt Facebook if it is not looked after and dealt with properly.
Secondly, is the company behind, and running Facebook. According to Willis Wee, amongst other things, there is the culture, risk-taking and employees September 26, 2010 . But although this reads as the same areas of focus for other big corporations, it is what happens beyond these areas that is important and that makes a company like Facebook unique.
Zuckerberg uses the term, “Hacker Culture”, at Facebook Wee, W. September 26, 2010 . If taken literally, the word Hacker can be viewed in a negative light with obtaining illegal access to computers and the Internet in the modern world. Perhaps a better word should be used, but the term Hacker can also stand for being on the front foot and pro-active, intellect and strategic, youthfulness, speed and guile, when used properly and constructively; protectors are pro-active reactive. Willis Wee states that “the hacker culture not only attracts high-energy and self-motivated talents, but also promises creativity. Decisions are made fast and features are developed in a short time frame” September 26, 2010 . Any wonder it is difficult to keep track of hackers. My own PC has been hacked a number of times. It would be interesting to see what other companies use a Hacker Culture.
Facebook’s Hacker Culture can also be linked to its Risk-Taking.
The News Feed feature on Facebook’s web-site, a real-time up-to-date information service, was a risk at first, but ended up working out alright. At first News Feed faced rejection but page views increased and more time was spend on the News Feature. Facebook monitored the whole progression Wee, W. September 26, 2010 .
The only problem again was privacy with people seeing those from their inner circle, like family and friends, have their information, such as updates and photos, on their homepage. Privacy, with mine and others personal information being shown is what initially worried me too when deciding to use Facebook. The world in fact created a crisis with privacy infringements happening across the board Wee, W. September 26, 2010 . So not just Facebook, but also other social media were, and are, included in this.
As the saying goes, ‘a boss is only as good as his staff’, or something along those lines, and Facebook’s people help make the company great.
Facebook allows its talented staff to have an impact, and this is associated with Facebook’s Culture and Risk-Taking. This would have to be the case with most successful companies, for example, Richard Branson’s Virgin and Bill Gates’ Microsoft. An example of this is Facebook’s 1,600 engineers managing the more than 500 million users Wee, W. September 26, 2010 .
- Other things
Zuckerberg cares more about his users than making money Wee, W. September 26, 2010 . One could say Zuckerberg, like others such as Bill Gates and Microsoft, has earned enough money to comfortably state this. But as the saying goes, ‘customer is king’. Although Zuckerberg makes a lot of money, some money would surely be spent on making the Facebook web-site better and providing what users want and need. Also, some money would be given to the all-important Facebook employees and marketing communications.
Zuckerberg started the “100 million Startup Education foundation”, to improve education for kids throughout the United States Zuckerberg also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and showcased the Foundation Wee, W. September 26, 2010 .
Some famous stars and celebrities and business people support weird and wonderful and outlandish charitable projects and initiatives, for example, former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and use of animal fur. However Zuckerberg could not go wrong in supporting education, which is what made him, and most people around the world, where they are today. I personally believe in life-long education and Zuckerberg’s foundation supporting education can provide this same passion for education, like I have, to others in the U.S., possibly later the world.
Like every good thing, Facebook was even made into a movie, with the film, The Social Network, having some success at the cinemas Wee, W. September 26, 2010 . Although personally I did not watch the movie, it would have been interesting to see, visually, the birth and success of Facebook come about.
There have numerous success stories of people, businesses and organizations who have utilized Facebook. Examples are the State Bicycle Company, Volvo, Hotel Tonight, fashion brand MISHKA, Bud Light, Wine Market Australia and Art House Framing and Art Supplies Facebook for Business .
Facebook has the “Start to Success” 30-day program for clients’ advertising campaigns with “personalized consulting sessions, email and phone support” Facebook Start to Success Program . One may think Facebook is easy to use without having to resort to such a program. But it is good to know Facebook does provide support. It would be interesting to see what Facebook offered compared to direct marketing communications businesses which tend to be expensive.
While some of the best years are behind Facebook and Zuckerberg, there seems to be there is more to come. This means if the company can maintain and capitalize on its current growth and success, and not become a riches-to-rags story like some other businesses and corporations out there, such as big- four accounting firm Arthur Anderson and music Internet provider Napster.
- Blodget, Henry (May 18, 2012) ‘The 13 Secrets to Facebook’s Success’, Business Insider Australia
- Facebook for Business, ‘Success Stories’
- Facebook for Business, ‘Real Businesses. Real Results’
- Facebook Start to Success Program
- Roos, Dave (1998-2013) ‘Hacking and Social Networks: How Online Social Networks work’, How Stuff Works
- Uehara, Rean John ‘Why Facebook is king: Success and Competitors’
- Wee, Willis (September 26, 2010) ‘Three Keys to Facebook’s Success’, Tech in Asia