Facebook, since its inspired and innovative creation by Mark Zuckerberg and his college contemporaries in 2004, has undeniably grown to a phenomenally significant extent within global culture.
The word, the brand and the platform took the social networking world by storm and at this point in time, everyone and their aunt is on Facebook. The website became a household figure of online social presence, with friends posting photos, life events, relationships and thoughts and opinions on their timelines, with people keeping in touch with and remaining updated on friends and family from all corners the world.
Since then, a vast array of more niche social networking sites have sprung to the forefront of our awareness as a society and enabling the average person to share videos, pictures and conversations in many other ways.
Is attempting to have one platform for all of these things an unattainable and outdated aim for a social platform? Or is Facebook doing the right thing in trying to keep up with all of these new and popular creations?
When Skype enables families, friends and couples to maintain free and easy long-distance relationships regardless of location with unlimited video calls, are these people really going to opt for Facebook video messenger instead despite the service being just as free, and just as easy? Or when someone wants to share a photo, are they going to share it with friends on this platform, or just use Instagram where they can edit the photos and add filters, focuses etc. ultimately resulting in much more memorable and aesthetic pictures?
Keeping up with competition
Admittedly, the ability to share these via Facebook enables a social network user to do both, but does this do anything for Facebook’s cause? Vine, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Ask.fm and more respectively have a lot to offer a social networker with specific needs. So much so perhaps that Facebook seems to have become outdated in its generalised and ‘all-pleasing’ approach.
At this point it may be worth pointing out that Facebook is still the most popular social network globally, but by merely casting your mind back to the glory days of its predecessor MySpace, it can easily be understood how a massive social network can be overtaken by a younger and more innovative site.
In 2007, MySpace was statistically the most popular site in the world. By 2008, Facebook had taken the mantle. Is it now the turn of another network? Twitter is putting up an admirable fight in the battle for popularity, but who’s to say what global tastes in social networking will dictate over the coming years? And what innovations Zuckerberg and co may pull out of their billion dollar hats in order to keep up?
This goes to say however that necessity will dictate for Facebook to adapt according to contemporary tastes and expectations since, unfortunately for its creators and shareholders, the day is fast approaching when users will one-by-one switch off entirely, with many users already neglecting their accounts in favour of more exciting, niche and engaging social networks.