A long, long time ago in 2004, two social network sites began; Facebook and MySpace. Who would have foreseen the dramatic impact both of these networking portals would have on our lives in a short span of five years.
Since their foundation in 2004, each of these social networks has experienced dramatic changes, not only in the way they function, but also in the amount of user interaction. For several years, MySpace rode on top of the social media phenomenon; until recently. In May of2009, Comscore reported that Facebook has exceeded the amount of MySpace users in the United States. With a shrinking number of users and more advertising dollars being allocated to Facebook, MySpace has been forced to layoff 30% of employees, as well as reduce its payroll to only 1,000 people. With over 60 million Facebook users in the United States alone, Facebook has made it possible for teens, adults and seniors to connect in a simple, easy to navigate arena. Capturing the baby boomer users, Facebook has been able to exceed the amount of MySpace users.
So the question is what’s next for Facebook? With Twitter gaining momentum and nipping at Facebook’s heels, only time will tell. Although, both platforms are very different in some aspects, both offer users the opportunity to connect with other users and share information. Could Twitter be the Facebook killer? Without adapting to current trends and listening to user feedback, Facebook could experience what MySpace is struggling with right now.
Facebook has recruited yet another Google AdWords executive after recently receiving a $200 million subsidy at a $10 billion valuation. It’s been speculated that the social media champion could hit $400-500 million in revenue this year as sited by The Business Insider.
Facebook hired ex-Google Adwords executive Grady Burnett to help beef up their self-service advertising unit. What can he bring to the table? Optimistically, Grady’s experience from both DoubleClick and Google will aid him to develop an improved self-service advertising platform for Facebook. Facebook has been steadily pulling in higher amounts of advertising revenue.
Facebook has said that their advertisers are beginning to see an increasing return on their investment. On the contrary, advertisers have been discussing how social media sites like Facebook and Myspace have not been generating conversions. Expectantly, advertisers need to see the return in capital in order to spread the word about how well demographic targeting deliveries results. Generating converting traffic is a goal that Grady can hopefully help his new Facebook team achieve.
There is no doubt that Facebook has the audience. They have advertisers ready and willing to allocate funds toward their network because of their highly targeted demographic. But, now its time for Facebook to determine what is going to help advertisers get conversions. Once Facebook overcomes this challenge, it will help obtain new advertisers as well as retain current ones in their network. Some advice from a Google mogul may help; now they have it.
Okay you really can’t hide on Facebook. It is, after all, a social media site whose sole purpose is to help you share information. You purposely connect to other people and invite them in to view a piece of your life. That said, there are some tools available to help you separate your friends from your “Facebook friends.”
So log-in to your Facebook account, go to “Settings”, select “Privacy Settings”, and let’s get started!
You’ll have four options here and I’ll take them one at time — with the exception of Applications — which I’ll handle in another post.
There are a lot of options here and they may not all be obvious. To combat that, Facebook gives you a great tool to help you determine the impact of any changes.
See that box on the top that reads: “See how a friend sees your profile.” You can enter any friend here to see your profile as it would appear to them. Now you can tweak the settings and have a real world example of how it impacts your friends or “friends of friends” and your network.
One important item here is the link to “Edit Photo Album Privacy Settings”. Once you enter here, select “customize” and you can prevent friends (or your boss, mom, etc.) from seeing that photo from your party on Friday night.
If you are in hiding, then this is the tab that you’ll want to focus on. Facebook allows you to determine who can find you on Facebook and whether or not people can find your listings in the search engines.
So if you have a stalker or are in the witness protection program, uncheck “create a public search listing” and the box to share your picture in search results. You’ll also want to select “search visibility” and limit who can find you in an internal search by selecting “Only Friends”.
3. News Feed and Wall
If you like to post comments that are private and meant for one person, then compose a new message via your mailbox! But if you want to comment on a thread or photo and don’t want everyone to know via their updates and notifications, then you’ll want to come here and uncheck the options for the highlights section.
Facebook does provide some useful tools to help you manage your privacy, but it’s important to remember that you (and some of your information) are visible in the search engines and internal searches on Facebook by default. So if you’d like to be a share a little less of your life online, use the privacy settings and make adjustments until you are more comfortable with what you show your Facebook friends.