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Assignment B – Group B – Alex (3888316) and Stef (3886733)

This post is brought to you by Alex Florance-Curwood (3888316) and Stef Poropat (3886733).

Hey guys, for our assignment, we created a “like” page on Facebook to help show the different features etc. of Facebook.

Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/Acc3004SocialMediaAssignmentB. Feel free to like it and comment as you please.

We posted little bits of information on the “like” page, however the majority of the information will be posted in this blog.

History

As “Facemash”

Facebook started as “Facemash”, in 2003. It was used to compare photos of dormitory students at Harvard and get rated as “Hot or Not”. There was more than 20,000 photo-views in the first four hours. However, it was shut down a few days later, with Harvard administration charging Mark Zuckerberg with breach of security and encroachment of privacy. The charges were dropped, however. (The Sunday Indian 2012) He then expanded on the initial project  by creating a social study tool for his art history final. He had to discuss five hundred images from the Augustan period and had two days to complete it. He created a website and uploaded the pictures with a place for comments. He then asked classmates to help him by commenting and sharing their notes. “Within two hours, all the images were populated with notes, I did very well in that class. We all did.” (McGirt 2007)

As thefacebook.com

In 2004, thefacebook.com was launched, with a reported 1200 people joining in the first twenty-four hours. (ed. Leistert & Röhle 2011) It was originally just for Harvard students to use to communicate with one another. Unlike facemash.com, Zuckerberg added security features which ensured that only the owner of a particular Harvard email account can upload information on thefacebook.com. Zuckerberg also said: “I was very careful with [thefacebook.com] to make sure that people don’t upload copywrited material.” (Tabak 2004)

However, only six days after thefacebook.com’s launch, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Dvya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of misleading them into thinking that he would help them build HarvardConnection.com, while he was using their ideas to build thefacebook.com. After thefacebook.com’s launch, Cameron, Tyler and Divya hired developers to build HarvardConnection, which launched in May 2004, renamed ConnectU. (Carlson 2010) Despite these accusations, there is no denying that thefacebook.com took a shorter amount of time (a week) to launch, as opposed to the months it took to build ConnectU. Thefacebook.com was also built by three sophmores in their dorm rooms, while ConnectU was built by professional developers. There is no denying that the amount of skill that went into thefacebook.com.

Although thefacebook.com was originally only for Harvard students, in March 2004, it had expanded to Stanford, Columbia and Yale universities. (Timeline 2012) In May, thirty different schools were included on the website. (McGirt 2007) In June 2004, Sean Parker became the president of the company. (Rosen 2005) It moved its operations base to Palo Alto California. (Timeline 2012) The company dropped the “the” from the website title, renaming it facebook.com, after purchasing the domain name in 2005 for $200,000 US. (Williams 2007)

As Facebook.com

In 2005, Facebook decided to open up Facebook to high schools. It then moved on to accepting people who worked for recognised companies, such as Microsoft or Apple. In December of 2005, Australian and New Zealand universities were added to Facebook. (Lacy 2006) Then, in 2006, Facebook was opened to everyone who was above the age of thirteen, with a valid email address. (Abram 2006) After opening Facebook to everyone, Facebook announced the “news feed”, which proved to be one of the most successful aspects of Facebook. (Timeline 2012)

In 2007, “Platform” was introduced, allowing outside programmers to create apps such as Farmville and Cityville. Apparently Zynga raised $180 million through its IPO. (The Sunday Indian 2012) In 2008, Facebook launched in Spanish, French and German and introduced Facebook chat. In July, the new Facebook launched, as well as the Facebook iPhone app.

In 2009, the “like” button is introduced”, letting people connect with things they like, on and off Facebook, also, the new home page is launched. In August, a feature is launched that enables people to have usernames. This allows them to choose a web address for their profile. In 2010, various other features were added, such as Facebook Questions; Facebook Places, which enables people to share where they are and the introduction of groups, such as the one we have set up on Facebook. Groups, or “like” pages, allow people to share information with small groups of people that are interested in that subject. In 2011, video calling was introduced. In late 2011, the timeline was introduced. (Timeline 2012)

Features of Facebook

The reason we created the “like” page is to demonstrate the different features that are available on Facebook.

The main purpose of Facebook is to help people connect with one another. At the top of your Facebook page, there is a search feature that allows you to find people, or “like” pages.

The posting feature allows you to either update your status, or upload a picture/video, or do the same on someone else’s wall.

You can like photos or videos that have been posted on someone else’s wall.

The tagging feature allows you to show which people are in the photo or post. These photos or posts are then available for these people and their friends to view on their profile.

The “Check In” feature allows you to show people places you have been.

The private chat feature allows you to interact and instantly message your friends, without publicising the conversation.

The idea of the cover photo allows you to personalise your Facebook account, and gives other people an idea about what your interests are and what you look like, provided you display a photo. This part of the profile also allows people to view brief information about you or the “like” page.

Facebook also shows when people’s birthday’s are. There is also a feature that encourages you to post on their wall for their birthday.

You can create events for parties, gatherings etc. The event shows who is invited, who is hosting, who has accepted or declined the invitation. It also allows you to post on the wall regarding the event.

Timeline is the most recent feature added to Facebook. It documents a person’s activity in a timeline format.

Adoption of Facebook

Facebook has had a huge impact on the way in which people communicate. The use of the social media has become adopted by hundreds of individuals, companies, groups and businesses in order to take their marketing progression to a new level. Facebook’s impact can be seen through our social interactions, political debates and media discussions.

Media and Marketing adoption of Facebook

In April 2011, Facebook become a platform for marketers and agencies to promote their brands and products online to millions of consumers, click here for an example. Facebook allows companies to display photos or their products, tag facebookers, and add descriptions of pricing and quality. The advertising companies target certain individuals based on their “likes” and frequently used key words. By doing this Facebook users have been able to use the social media site by being advertised to on a subconscious level. For example, if someone writes on their Facebook page that they are employed as a receptionist; advertisements will appear on the side panel for reception jobs or training courses. Companies have benefitted from promoting their products and services online by opening up their target audience to a wider online community, ie Facebook users.

Social adoption of Facebook

As mentioned previously Facebook has changed the way in which we interact with people in various ways. With the introduction of a ‘Facebook’ app, users are able to comment, message, like and chat to their family, friends and other acquaintances at any time of the day, wherever they may be in the world. Facebook has also allowed people that share a common interest or belief to come together through ‘Facebook groups’ and ‘Facebook pages’ to exchange ideas.  These pages can be used to show respect to someone that has passed away, to celebrate a football team’s win, or to laugh at people’s embarrassing night club photos.

Facebook has also been beneficial in helping people stay in contact with one another. It has allowed long lost relatives to reunite, helped people get in contact with old school friends and assisted in rekindling previous love flames. However some critics have attacked Facebook users claiming that it increases antisocial tendencies as people are not communicating directly to one another. Facebook has also been found to impact people’s ability to communicate in everyday conversations and form or maintain relationships, therefore deeming Facebook as a social problem for many users. Studies have also suggested that having a Facebook account and using it on a regular basis can lead to higher instances of divorce and infidelity.

Political adoption of Facebook   

Facebook’s role in the American political process has been demonstrated on a number of occasions particularly in January 2008. Facebook teamed up with ABC to allow users to give feedback about current debates going on in the political world at the time. Facebook users took part in debate groups organized around specific topics, registered to vote on Facebook, and message questions directly to politicians. Political candidate fan bases, which are posted on Facebook, have relevance for election campaigns by:

  • Allowing politicians and campaign organisers to understand the interests and demographics of their fan bases, which in turn will help them to better target their voters.
  • It also provides a means for voters to keep up to date on candidate’s activities and current election promises.

Political debates have showed how powerful and popular Facebook can be in the way we chose to interact and voice our opinions online. (Wolford 2012)

The Growth of Facebook

Facebook usage has been growing rapidly during the first half of 2008. As of June, Facebook became the largest social network worldwide. (Smith 2008) While the popularity of Facebook spread so rapidly in the first few years of its existence it is hard to know which countries Facebook first became introduced to. However, after originating from America, it has been said that these are some of the countries that Facebook first spread to:

There has been a steady increase in the number or people choosing to use Facebook as a means of social interactions. While Facebook continues to update its new features, more and more people are finding new ways of using the social media platform to communicate with their family and friends.

As can be seen in the graph, between 2009 and 2011, there was an astonishing 400 million new users that joined Facebook.

Age and Gender has also been a big factor in the type of people that make use of Facebook and its communication features. Typically, Facebook has attracted a younger audience, while older people do use the social media form, there are quite fewer numbers. Surprisingly, there are also slightly more female Facebook users than there are males. These figures can be seen in the image below.

References

Abram, C 2006, ‘Welcome to Facebook, everyone.’, The Facebook Blog, weblog post, 26 September , viewed 30 September 2012, <https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=2210227130>.

Carlson, N 2010, In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg Broke Into A Facebook User’s Private Email Account, Business Insider, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.businessinsider.com/how-mark-zuckerberg-hacked-into-the-harvard-crimson-2010-3>.

Lacy, S 2006, Facebook: Opening the Doors Wider, BloombergBusinessweek, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2006-09-11/facebook-opening-the-doors-wider>.

Leistert, O & Röhle, T (eds.) 2011, Generation Facebook. Über das Leben im Social Net, Bielefeld: Transcript verlag, Germany.

McGirt, E 2007, Hacker. Dropout. CEO., Fast Company, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.fastcompany.com/59634/hacker-dropout-ceo>.

Rosen, E 2005, Student’s Start-Up Draws Attention and $13 Million, The New York Times, viewed September 30 2012, <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/26/business/26sbiz.html?_r=3&scp=1&sq=thefacebook+parker&st=nyt&>.

Smith, J 2008, Tracking Facebook’s 2008 International Growth By Country, Inside Facebook, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/07/29/tracking-facebooks-2008-international-growth-by-country/>.

Tabak, AJ 2004, Hundreds Register for New Facebook Website, The Harvard Crimson, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2004/2/9/hundreds-register-for-new-facebook-website/>.

The Sunday Indian 2012, And Facebook begins – The Sunday Indian Exclusive Images, The Sunday Indian, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.thesundayindian.com/en/photo-albums/241/>.

Timeline 2012, Facebook, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=20>.

Williams, C 2007, Facebook wins Manx battle for face-book.com, The Register, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/01/facebook_domain_dispute/>.

Wolford, J 2012, Here’s How Political Campaigns Should Be Using Facebook, According To Facebook, WebProNews, viewed 30 September 2012, <http://www.webpronews.com/heres-how-political-campaigns-should-be-using-facebook-according-to-facebook-2012-08>.

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