Ronnie05's Blog

Profiling Facebook: The Google of Social Networking (Part II)

Posted in Revenues and Monetization, Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on March 6, 2009


In the earlier part of this post (part I), i had written about the Facebook phenomenon and its about its popularity and its business model. It is doing to social networking what Google did to the evolution of internet and search as a whole. Little wonder that it is the largest social networking site and in top 10 websites of the world.


While this schematic is a little old (June 2007) it gives a pretty clear picture of the dominance of social networking websites in the world. The Dark Blue (Facebook) features prominently in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, UK, Scandinavia, South Korea, Italy and parts of Eurasia. Since then the spread of the Blue would have increased by a factor of 3.5 and would porominently feature the whole North American continent. Facebook’s march to 200 million users earnestly began in January 2008, when it made translation tools available to the international user. Today more than 70% Facebook users are outside USA and most of them read it in their native language.


In 2005, Mark Zuckerberg had outlined his vision for Facebook to be an online “social utility” tool which would mean a global digital phone book which users would use to locate people on the web. In strictest terms the vision has not changed very hugely except that instead of Phone book (assisting medium), facebook intends to usurp the position of the phone itself. He dreams of Facbook to be the central portal for communication, work and pleasure. It also becomes the central place where users organize parties, store pictures, find jobs, watch videos and play games. eventually , Facebook will become an online passkey to gain access to websites and online forums that require personal identification. In other words, Facebook will be the place where people will live their digital lives in the internet of the future.

Zuckergerg vision has found the traction and has a 175 million “friends” following. However the question of monetization of traffic is something that most of the Web 2.0 evangelists are wrangling with. We will analyse the business macros of Facebook in the next part of the series in some time.

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