Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Facebook Friending the World
I read an article this morning called "How Facebook is Taking Over Our Lives." It's packed with amazing factoids about the "social utility" brainchild of CEO Mark Zuckerberg. One such nugget is that if it were a country, it would have a population roughly approximating that of Brazil. And it's growing like some of those microorganisms I learned about in biology that split every few seconds--signing up new users, sometimes as many as five million per week.
This doesn't surprise me in the least, having recently become a fan myself. I got an account years ago when you had to have a university address to see it. I thought, "Meh, just another one of those things where I can broadcast to the world how little I'm up to." Years passed. It overtook MySpace in traffic months ago, as we reported on this blog in May.
After a while, I started hearing people in my circles, outside of work, talking about it. I'm, to put it gingerly, certainly in the post-college demographic. (When I started working at Alexa nine years ago, I thought of someone my current age as old.) Then, a few months back, my best friend sent me a friend request--she's way less inclined to jump on a bandwagon than I, so I caved. Dozens of friend invitations later, I'm reunited with high school friends. Full circle: last week I got friended by a favorite relative in my mom's age group, and this morning I had another friend recommend the article on which I'm now blogging!
The site is certainly sticky. I have a few ways to get and post updates without actually going to the website because I don't dare venture there regularly and try to hold a job. And I've noticed an increase recently in the number of times I accept a friend request from the guy who took my lunch money every day in the sixth grade only to see, "Joe is new to Facebook. Recommend people Joe may know."
And the traffic data certainly supports the trends I've observed, and those reported in the article. While this graph only represents the traffic to the Facebook website itself, not all those widgets we use to get our fix without getting swept away, their Reach has practically tripled in a year. I'm curious to watch how this plays out.
Are you on Facebook? Is your mom? What's your favorite way to read and share updates? Which are your favorite features?
If you're not, did you try it and not like it, or are you resisting for other reasons? Please tell us in the comments.
Posted by Kelly Dragoo at 5:19 PM