Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Facebook will not fade


Facebook launched in 2004. It began as a simple contact directory, similar to the address book linked to your email account. Over the last 12 years, the social network has grown to become the most popular website on the Internet.

The dominance of this Web titan has been growing seemingly exponentially over recent years. It greatly outpaces the traffic generated by other social media giants, including Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. The evolution of Facebook from origin to present is too drastic to recall in exact detail, so I will name only a few major updates.

In 2007, Facebook became available on mobile devices. In 2008, Facebook introduced the ‘chat’ feature. In 2009, the ‘Like’ button made its debut. In 2011, the much disputed ‘Timeline’ hit the scene.

Despite initial reluctance to major changes, user activity remains high and the number of users continues to climb. In fact, one in seven people on Earth are on Facebook and between those 1 billion active monthly users, 700 billion minutes per month are spent on the website. How many times have you and your friends sworn to quit Facebook?

Now kindly remind me, how is that going for you again?

The question is, where is Facebook going? At this point, it feels like it is ingrained in our DNA to begin typing ‘f-a-c-…” once you click on the search bar.

There have been countless occasions where I have found myself on the site, perusing through pictures of people I hesitate to call acquaintances let alone real friends, before realizing I that opened the Internet to check my actual email, or the day’s homework assignment. It’s easy to say we are all addicted, so it comes as no surprise that many businesses are beginning to turn to Facebook as their chief source of advertising.

More and more businesses are beginning to turn to Facebook for publicity. Creating a page has become appealing, particularly to small businesses that lack substantial funding. Facebook now offers a comprehensive walkthrough on how to create a page for any business. The steps are explained easily, the potential exposure for businesses is enormous and best of all – it’s free.

To couple with the free Facebook page, many businesses are beginning to pop up on Instagram. The photosharing phenom is one of iTunes’ top 10 free apps, and hosts 80 million users.

The free mobile application allows users to upload and share photos straight from their phone to the masses. With the acquisition of Instagram in April, Facebook secured it’s crown as the dominant photo-sharing source. Instagram greatly improved Facebooks mobile market, which was seen as the company’s weak point.

Now that the site has 1 billion active users, Zuckerberg is looking to make a push into the world of electronic-commerce.

“The bigger question is, what services can get built now that every company can assume they can get access to knowing who everyone’s friends are,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.

The answer that Zuckerberg is looking towards is mobile users.

There are currently 5 billion mobile device users on this planet. Facebook already has a stronghold on the mobile photo-sharing department, so Zuckerberg is looking for a way to leverage that advantage towards a new world of mobile e-commerce.

It’s difficult to say what exactly will come of Facebook in the future. It seems to be expanding and conquering markets effortlessly at this point. Zuckerberg has made it clear the mobile market, in addition with the e-commerce market, is on his radar.

Whether this will unfold according to plan is not an easy call to make but one thing seems certain: Facebook is in it for the long run.

Josh Steinberg is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].

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    Kiyoko OmdahlOct 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Nice article. I find that there are a restricted quantity of truly great restaurants in Oxnard. Evidently loads of eating places also just don’t make it as well. I do not know whether or not it’s because of the economic system or what, however for a long time now I’ve seen many restaurants come and go. It is good to see that there are more quality restaurants opening though. There’s a new restaurant by 24 hour health that looks like they’re really top notch and have superior food. Considered one of our favorites is Pirates Bar and Grill, a good ole American restaurant that has great american food.

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    Dr. Nancy GahlesOct 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Interesting, informative piece. The super entrepreneur Zuckerberg has provided a template for people to connect with one another and now is expanding to a business phenomenon. My question is, at what point does this become one of diminishing returns for the Facebook user and uber-returns for Zuckerberg. As you aptly put it, “How’s that going for you again?”