It’s a social media monster that cannot be stopped!
Facebook is “the” place on the web where everything is happening! Friends find old friends, family members connect with one another over long distances, and businesses are using the media juggernaut to build their brand.
Facebook takes off from humble beginnings
But Facebook started out from very humble beginnings. On February 4th 2004 Facebook was launched by four Harvard college students. Mark Zukerburg along with friends Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes were the group responsible for the beginnings of the social media site that at that time was limited to Harvard students.
This would expand to include other Boston colleges and eventually would include high school students and then expand to include children who were 13 years of age and older.
A few years later this "story" would become a Hollywood motion picture.
Today Facebook has outgrown those beginnings and has established itself as the number one site on the web, where people come to socialize. Today Facebook is a place where groups are formed for “Causes” and other types of support groups have found a place including organizations like The Vasculitis Foundation and The American Heart Association.
Facebook is also the place where businesses are building their brand. With Facebook, you can build your business by running ads on a specially created fan pages that are used just for brand recognition. Brands like Sabila Aloe Vera Drinks and a more recognized brand such as DiGiorno Pizza are using Facebook to its fullest to help spread “Fan Awareness.”
Here are some figures that at the moment justify the claim that Facebook is the be all and end all when you mention Social Media…
• 2006-$52 Million
• 2007-$150 Million/Growth-188%
• 2009-$775 Million/Growth-177%
• 2011-4,270 Million/Growth-114%
You get the picture just from the above figures, as to the growth and gross income of this media machine. There are stories that tap into the popularity of media stars on Facebook such as Rihanna.
A recent news item found on the blog “News of the World” mentions a news report about Rihanna’s Facebook popularity surpassing Lady Gaga’s popularity.
The report stated the following…
” Lady Gaga was the first lady to hit one milestone of 10,000,000 Facebook fans, after whipping President Obama in this race, that had Obama at about 700,180 Facebook fans. But this doesn’t mean that Lady Gaga is invincible.
While I was writing this, Rihanna had got to about 40,564,967 while Lady Gaga’s are 40,543,636 which are almost 21,000 less than Rihanna’s.”
But the biggest news about Facebook as of late (like this past November) is the idea of the company going public with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that would make Google’s IPO of $1.7 billion back in 04 look like a drop in the bucket. This could be a windfall for Facebook and could help the company become a 100 billion dollar baby as this figure would become its new valuation number.
The only thing that bothers me about all of this is what happened back at the end of 2000 when the dot.com bubble finally burst, leaving many investors holding the bag with unrealized dreams of big money and a lot of folks out of jobs.
Could this happen to Facebook? In my opinion I’d have to say no. What started out as a simple way for a few college students to just communicate with one another has turned into an industry all its own.
And if I look at their business model in comparison to another web giant…Amazon.com, well Facebook actually turned a profit much sooner than Jeff Bezos and his little enterprise, and mind you that’s actually saying a lot when you’re talking about some of the big players on the web today including Google, and sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter (frankly I really had my doubts about Twitter and its viability as a player) and YouTube. All three of these sites are “pure play” web sites and they may have decent valuations, but they aren’t generating the amounts of dollars that Facebook is at this point.
Facebook is already readying itself for its IPO offering in 2012 by spreading it’s user base further and looking to create more jobs for 2012, and it’s looking to NYC as it adds an engineering office there in order to start accepting applications from the top talent from around the area, this could mean thousands of new jobs created in the near future for NYC and the surrounding tri-state area.
The end of Facebook in sight? Not likely
Rather than think about Facebook going belly up in the future, maybe we should start to look at how we are going to interact with Facebook in the future, and just how much of our privacy we’ll be willing to give up to be a part of Facebook’s future?
What dotcom will replace Facebook as the next big thing?
Most likely the story of new startups that take off to revolutionize the world is not done being written. Is the next dotcom star already here, and are it's humble roots spreading and laying the ground work for what will be the next giant beanstalk to reach the sky? What is the next industry or way of communicating that will change the world and the way many people in the world interact?
Your guess is as good as mine.