“I’ll never forget the day I ran into my high school’s Mac computer lab and signed up for Facebook,” Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg told AFP. “At the same time, you felt like you were part of a small, exclusive community that didn’t have your parents, grandparents, and teachers, but also something much bigger.”
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) and three of his friends created a website thefacebook.com, which was originally intended only for students at Harvard College. It later became available to students from other US universities, and in 2006 it was opened to anyone who wanted to join.
Facebook has become a space where you can communicate with anyone, anywhere, and by 2023, more than 3 billion people are reported to be using the network every month. people.
Facebook has been revolutionary since its launch [dalyku], – said Mr. Enberg. “It’s hard to overstate Facebook’s influence on everything from pop culture to politics to our online behavior.”
She emphasized the so-called Facebook window. feed), which contains photos, comments or other posts that, according to the algorithm, could attract the attention of users.
The more users engage with Facebook, the more profitable it can serve ads based on the vast amount of information people share on the social network.
The network is credited with popularizing the phenomenon of mass content, but it also started the trend of online-only news portals.
Online advertising giant
However, Facebook has also gained a negative reputation as a company that buys or copies potential competitors. It now boasts of being part of the family of popular platforms including Instagram and WhatsApp.
Mr. Zuckerberg, who still runs the company, follows a strategy of investing heavily in user acquisition before integrating monetization methods, which usually involve targeted advertising.
Along with Google, Facebook has become an online advertising giant. In 2022, which was a poor year for the Silicon Valley-based company, its profit reached $23 billion. dollars (21.3 billion euros).
According to Enberg, the platform is part of the digital landscape, especially for millennials born in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Advertisers continue to resist it because of its reach and performance,” the analyst said of Facebook.
But Facebook has faced complaints and fines for its business model, which relies on using people’s personal data to offer more engaging content and targeted ads.
After recent allegations that Russia used Facebook to try to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, the network became embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal. In 2021, it was criticized due to whistleblower allegations that executives prioritized profits over the safety and well-being of users.
Despite everything, Facebook continues to grow. Additionally, the tech titan’s expansion has allowed it to invest in innovations including artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality.
In late 2021, Facebook changed the name of its parent company to Meta, saying it was due to Mr Zuckerberg’s vision of immersive virtual worlds called a “metaverse” (in the metaverse), will become the next major computing platform.
Attractive features of Facebook
“We may be less engaged, but we haven’t quit because there’s really no alternative,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at market research firm Creative Strategies, of the staying power of the aging social network.
Facebook also maintains its appeal with the so-called “groups” feature, which allows users to bring together people with common interests, such as sports, celebrity or farming, who communicate not only online, but also in reality.
Online marketplace features that allow people to buy or sell items are also popular.
“I joined Facebook because I knew my mom’s friends would be interested in it,” said Ruby Hammer, an 18-year-old nanny from California, describing how she uses the social network to earn money. – Also, because of the marketplace [funkcijos]because I’m looking for a car.”
She communicates with her peers by sharing photos on SnapChat and Instagram rather than Facebook.
Mr. Enberg called the acquisition of Instagram in 2012, when it was transitioning to a smartphone-dominated lifestyle, one of Facebook’s best business decisions.
This eliminated a competitor, created a new platform for advertising and attracted younger Internet users who had lost interest in Facebook.
“First of all, it gives the company an app that can compete with Snapchat and TikTok, which are extremely popular among teenagers,” Enberg said.
Today, more than half of Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to DataReportal, an online analytics company. However, it is still difficult to measure the extent to which users are engaged in a social network.
“I’m very rarely on Facebook, but what I post on Instagram automatically appears on Facebook,” Milanesi said. – So, I am definitely considered “active” (…) The numbers may not correspond to reality.”