There are some very big numbers surrounding Facebook at the moment – over 850M subscribers, half a billion items shared in one day, engagement levels rising exponentially, advertising revenues to double in the coming year – even though the IPO has been firmly put back to next year, the recent F8 conference has magnified the interest in Facebook to an even greater degree, and the emotional reactions of users and commentators alike has demonstrated a fascinating resistance to change, given that Facebook only has a six year history.
Another record that Facebook may have continued counting, is the millions of words written and shared online since before F8; as changes appeared piecemeal such as lists and that already infamous ticker, and then moved on to make more sense as part of a coherent relaunch around the timeline and ‘frictionless sharing’ of your media with friends, the world, his wife and his dog have all had something to say about the changes.
Here are the five best articles I read about Facebook this week, typifying the breadth of reaction there has been online about various aspects of recent launch news:
- First, a bit of public opinion in an infographic from Sodaheads which is a quick snapshot of immediate reactions to the changes across different groups, where women and teens, two key sections of the audience, were particularly resistant to change.
- Next, onto making sense of the changes, and Five Facebook changes and what you need to know, from Social Media Examiner, which is the best and most straightforward description I found.
- This covered the personal timeline, but noticeably absent from F8 was any word about pages and the impact for brands and businesses from Fresh Networks What Brands Need to Know about the Changes to Facebook. This outlines the potential of the changes for businesses and how they can look to capitalise on this more overt focus on engagement.
- Not so cheerful about the changes, this post about how Facebook may be sowing the seeds of its own destruction makes for a thoughtful read from Flashes and Flames, Five reasons Facebook May be Doomed, which questions whether it is inherent in each online giant to eventually become too big and overpowering for the average user to remain loyal.
- Scary, too commercial and too open to challenge from Google+ it might turn out to be, but my final choice of article from Mashable bets you won’t be going anywhere fast – No, You Aren’t Going to Quit Facebook. This outlines what leaving would mean, and it highlights the fact that Facebook has capitalised on the one thing it has that no-one else does in a common format – Facebook can give you a timeline of your life, experiences and friends in feeding back to you all of your and your friends’ investment in the site. By allowing you to curate your life and airbrush it for your friends, Facebook raises the stakes in what there is to lose, should you choose to leave.
So that’s the story so far, and it’s a fascinating one as Google continues to release updates to Google+ and we can sit and watch the battle for our online lives, if not our online souls (as yet).
What do you think about the Facebook changes, and will you want to leave the community, or be tempted to stay behind and enhance your own timeline? I would love to know, leave a comment below.