Of all the social websites that have been launched in the past few years, two have really struck me as being something beyond ordinary. Well, then there was also MySpace, which had it's place for a while, but I could NEVER stand how Myspace pages broke every design rule for websites known to man. It was almost like everyone out there was in a big contest to make the ugliest and hardest-to-read Myspace page in the world. Whatever. I never go to Myspace anymore and could care less. The two sites I'm talking about are Twitter and Facebook.
I have to admit I've been in Twitter absentia lately, but I'll get over it and join back in. I've been interested in Twitter since I first saw it being used by Melanie Seasons at the 2007 WOMMA Summit. She was like "I'm Twittering" and I was like "what's Twitter" and she was like "this great new site that lets you post short messages" and I was like "cool!"
But I don't want to talk about Twitter or Myspace. I want to talk about Facebook.
I want to wish Facebook a happy 5th birthday. Here's why think Facebook is a great site for both people and brands.
First, here are a few words from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Facebooks anniversary:
Tomorrow is Facebook's 5th birthday. This is a happy occasion for Facebook, but much more significant to the Facebook team is the fact that over 150 million people around the world are using Facebook to connect with the people in their lives. Facebook was founded in 2004 to give people the tools to engage and understand the world around them. We are glad and humbled that so many people are using Facebook in this way.
150 million people. Wow. I think the best business decision Facebook ever made was opening up to everyone outside students. It's hard to believe that just a few years ago, Facebook was something I heard about from our interns. Now, it seems like half my friends from my entire life are on there. I hear from someone just about every week that I haven't heard from in 20 years. It's really an easy and fun way to keep in touch with folks. I love it.
Now the brand part. Not only does Facebook allow users to easily associate with favorite companies and brands, it allows companies to create their own Facebook profiles which other Facebook users can become "fans." This lets people share their love of "stuff". And those company Facebook pages show up in search results, which further helps spread the word about the particular product or service.
It can be challenging to get fans for product pages. Quicken Loans currently has 234 fans, but considering we've closed 750,000 loans in our company's history, that's not really a large representation of our clients.
Anyway, enough of the boring business stuff. Let's celebrate Facebook for what it's really for. People communicating with other people they like. Anything that brings people together is good to go, in my book.
Happy birthday Facebook. I can't wait to see what you'll be like in 5 years.