What’s Next for Facebook?
By Nicole Santos, Intern
Gone are the days when logging onto Facebook was simply a leisure activity, maybe out of boredom, or maybe during down time. Now, logging onto Facebook isn’t even a question anymore. It’s part of daily lifestyle. Scrolling through your news feed is now muscle memory. The site is an addictive outlet that does serve several productive purposes, so it can’t be blamed for becoming as colossal as it is today. It’s definitely come a long way since its introduction in 2004.
Facebook, as its slogan entails, (although bland and modified over the years) connects people everywhere. It is a means of communication, regardless of age or distance. Old flames reignite, and friendships are brought back to life, or even started. Ultimately, users can contact people they haven’t seen in a while. As a hypothetical example, college friends who moved thousands of miles away from each other, perhaps to another country, can catch up via Facebook, let alone track each other down years down the road.
The social network does a fabulous job (I must say), in getting people to engage with each other, particularly in the same demographic. As a college student, it is, dare I say, crucial to be on Facebook, not only for social uses. It’s also a gateway for students to participate in schoolwork and class activities, if applicable. Groups are formed on Facebook where students in the same class, for example, can exchange notes or pass along assignments. Professors are also involved in this “conversation” and utilize the site. It shows potential to give students some kind of motivation to be proactive after seeing that accessing the work is simple and generation-friendly.
On a college campus, or at a high school even, students don’t always get to know all their peers, depending on the size of that campus, and how active a student is with extracurricular, academic, and sports activities. Students are one demographic that I’d assume make up a large part of the site’s “addicted” users. Whether you’re relieving boredom, procrastinating, or looking through the thousands of pictures friends are tagged in, it mediates that awkward stage of getting to know someone, or introducing yourself.
As for society’s growing dependence on technology, the social network can only do so much. Facebook keeps up with technological trends, making it incredibly easy to access Facebook from practically anywhere. After creating partnerships with apps such as Instagram, the site will continue to execute these merger and acquisition strategies. Attention will be directed towards mobilizing Facebook even more.
Apps wise, it will be shooting for books, music, and fitness. In the past, users have seen Facebook games such as Tetris, Farmville, and recently, Jewel Crush Saga. There are more to come and I might add, could be products of companies like Plarium, one of Fusion’s clients. Netflix could be pairing up with Facebook to share its services and features as part of the movement towards movie apps.
Facebook is also headed towards a Google-like atmosphere, although I wouldn’t exactly call it a search engine just yet. Although not as precise when it comes to filtering as Google is, it isn’t falling too far behind, as users are turning to Facebook to find just about anything. It is becoming a “social farm”.
This can be both a positive and a negative, considering how much easier it will be to find an answer, but at the higher risk of encountering junk. Numerous ads are placed on a news feed with respect to the user’s interests and whatever sites he or she might visit. With pages such as Stylish Eve, which deliberately steals its content from external sources such as Polyvore, sifting through useless pages on Facebook will be quite the challenge.
These readings can be found at Tech Crunchand Mashable: