Remember this post a few months ago, comparing Facebook with Walmart? In that post I pointed out that Facebook had more than 300 million registered users. Well, now, just 4 months later, Facebook has over 400 million registered users, and in January apparently surpassed Yahoo in traffic numbers, making Facebook the 2nd most heavily visited website in the US. Google, of course, is #1 (Skolai Images is #5 or 6, depending on if update the blog or not). But yes, that’s right, Facebook is now bigger than Yahoo. Until 2008, Yahoo was the #1 website in the world. News article here.
Google apparently love their #1 ranking, and have just released Google Buzz – if you haven’t already, you might want to click on my Buzz profile, follow and add and do all that good stuff, just to stay current. I still haven’t jumped into the Buzz too greatly, as I tend to be a bit slow on adopting new technologies; mainly because I need someone else to figure them out and show me how to use them afterward.
So anyway, Facebook is the #2 website in the US right now. I have just nearly 1300 friends on Facebook, which means around 399 998 700 users have NOT signed up to be my friends on Facebook yet. Better yet, Skolai Images has around 500 fans right now (thank you to each one of you who are Skolai Images fans). I figure that leaves 399 998 500 in my ‘target audience’. I like to think the cream of the crop have already clicked the ‘fan’ button on Skolai Images page, but I’m sure there’s gotta be at least a few potential fans on there that haven’t yet taken the plunge. If you might happen to be one of those folks who’ve yet to sign up as ‘fans’ of Skolai Images on facebook, ask yourself why not. Just do it. Become a fan today.
So what’s all this mean? Facebook has taken off? Social networking is a critical marketing tool? Yahoo sucks? I’m not sure. I do know that a dynamic medium like the web will constantly be chucking up winners and losers, and trying to keep tabs on it all is absolutely impossible. For now, Facebook seems to me to be a useful tool to promote what I do, keep tabs on what some of my friends are up to, stumble across some new and interesting sites, pages, photos, videos and articles, etc.
I think any business is somewhat silly to NOT have a Facebook page at this point, but I do have some friends, artists, who are not yet “down with the face”. I’ll do an interview in the near future to get some thoughts on why not. If my earlier commentary aligning Facebook with Walmart holds any water, I’m not sure ‘the face’ is entirely a good thing.
It’s clearly not for everyone. I wonder if their 400 million registered users include the “unregistered” users as well – including my dad’s account, which I had to deactivate for him last weekend? I’m not sure what the story was there; I got a call from my mum asking would I deactivate their Facebook account because when she tried to do it, it wouldn’t work. In that sense, it’s similar to a virus; you sign on, and it won’t leave you alone.
But surely all this chatter on social media comes with a cost? Do we really need ‘more‘ of anything at this point in the world, be it gossip, photos, updates, friends, clever quotes or information? I sometimes wonder if this frenetic pace will simply implode one day, and the superhighway of the internet will lock up. That probably wouldn’t be a bad thing for a while – I doubt the scene in the photo above would change in the slightest.