With the announcement of Facebook now looking into changing it’s whole edge ranking scheme and reportedly losing brands millions of users per month, the question whether Facebook is still relevant is very much up for discussion. To answer this question we need to first look at what went so good for Facebook in the beginning.
Where Did It Go So Right?
Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes formed this famous social network, Facebook originally started out as a site dedicated to allowing students to connect with each other. Fast forward a few years and Facebook had opened up to not just students but to the whole world. Previous social media platforms had made impact with business and culture before, for example, MySpace had a revolutionary effect on the music industry making it possible for unsigned bedroom musicians to become household names without the help of major record labels, success stories such as Lily Allen and Kate Nash are a few of many in that era. However, Facebook was the first platform to really penetrate popular culture across the board, features such as likes, poking and various games helped makes Facebook the most popular social media platform of in the world.
Facebook was also the first platform where major brands and companies really sat up and noticed the marketing potential of social media. Every self-respective company soon had a business profile on Facebook and a lot of businesses even started up on the platform, it has become the starting point and blueprint for most social media marketing plans.
What Goes Up Must Come Down
Like with most love affairs, Facebook and it’s audience seems to be coming to an end as other social media platforms such as Twitter has built considerable momentum with it’s micro-blogging site. Twitter’s emphasis on news and strong celeb backing has become more and more important in our celebrity-obsessed society. This 140 character limited style was perfect for the millennial generation who are in constant need for topical news quick and hassle free, the character limit made it impossible to ramble with in a single update.
Twitter has rapidly become a huge influence on popular culture, make no mistake businesses and brands have definitely seen potential of the platform especially the music industry with Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga being the top three most followed people on Twitter. It has been so influential in our celebrity-obsessed culture because it allows fans to feel closer to an artist and gives artists the opportunity to build their own fan communities such as Beliebers and Little Monsters. Artist and their labels also get instant feedback in return, this is great as it allows them to crowd source public reaction and tweak aspects of their image, branding and even which song to release next. This has left Facebook feel dated, as the connection between brand and audience isn’t as instant as it is on Twitter.
Adapt Or Sink
With the rise in popularity of other social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ over the past few years, there has been a build up of alternatives in the digital space to challenge Facebook’s dominance. Facebook needed to change in order to cement its status in the social media world once more. Changes to the profile format, hashtags have now being implemented and even rumours of followers instead of friends, the question a lot of people are asking including myself is, does Facebook need to change? Well we’ve seen with platforms like MySpace not adapting to their audiences changing needs, this can be detrimental to a social media platform, so I would say yes, change is needed. But I begin to wonder if change is needed then, how much can Facebook change without changing what fundamentally made Facebook, Facebook? So this the question post to you dear readers. Feel free to comment your thoughts below and lets start a debate!
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