What is Facebook’s future direction?
Facebook and Zuckerberg have both matured into the company that exist today, but how has the aging affected the once really young, really hip startup.
In 2004 thefacebook.com launched as the newest, coolest social networking site, and what it had to offer was far more appealing than the networks of the time. Myspace was highly customizable but overly bloated with features, and friendster was boring and minimal. The Facebook offered a clean interface and a focus on what was important to people; peer to peer connection, and exclusivity.
The appeal originally for The Facebook was the idea that if you could have one other place that was easily accessible and just as exclusive as your college campus but with the ease of quick and painless social interaction then perhaps networking would not only be drastically easier but extremely beneficial. You could squeeze your networking into the walks between classes.
But Facebook has changed dramatically since then. It’s become more inclusive, added much more advertising and even dropped the “The”.
Just Facebook. It’s cleaner.
Has Facebook lost it’s original intentional “cool”?
Now it’s nearly impossible to log onto any app without it requesting if you’d like to connect Facebook to it. Everything you do online has an option to post to Facebook and update your friends, and if you’re anything like me, most of the people who you use Facebook with nowadays are your family and coworkers.
Facebook has gotten itself into disturbing press, calling attention to it’s privacy agreements that raises concerns on if it invades yours. Its apps consistently monitor your actions and its advertising is scarily and masterfully tailored to your history. And like all things, it’s gotten familiar and we’ve become accustomed to it. It’s no longer got the exciting new glow that it had once before.
So in many ways perhaps, yes, with the spamming that occurs frequently with Facebook, it could quite possibly have lost its cool, but it’s become so integrated into our lives that it’s impossible to give up. Quite frankly, why would we?
Making friends takes time; it takes effort and requires an ability to stay entertaining and consequently interested. Some people are really comfortable in falling into the role of the social butterfly, but then there’s the people, who I assume, may have been Zuckerberg himself. The people who are more of an “unsocial moth”. They spend countless hours in their heads and focused on ideas that are difficult to translate into words. For these people, Facebook is a wonderful outlet that utilizes humanities addiction with the internet and creates a simple crutching ecosystem that you can network with from your dark room, or the comfort of your bed.
So where do we go now?
Zuckerberg is incredibly intelligent and his efforts are quite brilliant, even if at times it scares me to think about how he’s sneaked his way into a majority of my life. So without surprise it’s expected that he would be concocting plans for his empire.
Facebook has combined forces with a few cell companies and other tech giants to bring internet access to those who don’t have it. Internet.org is an organization that uses an app to connect people to resources such as health, information, etc in their local areas. It revolves around the notion that knowledge is power and that making it accessible nourishes economies and societies around the world.
This move for Zuckerberg really puts Facebook on par with major companies like Google who have really taken an interest in spreading internet access. However, although this app is advertised as free from internet.org, it isn’t entirely.
The app will allow uncharted areas to be accessible by tech giants. It could advertise to those with little to offer, and has been criticized for violating net neutrality and pushing Facebook more aggressively than the other sites. Which could be spurred by the limited access for browsing and tie ins with Facebook. In polls, researchers believe that it could be convoluting the internet and instead directing more users to Facebook. India withdrew its participation in Facebook’s internet.org for suspicion on the matter.
Internet.org is a wonderful project should it be executed excellently for the purposes it’s described as doing. In Zuckerberg’s words, “connectivity is a human right.” and in mine; Knowledge is powerful. If providing information becomes a priority for tech companies than we can truly create an exciting future.
My hopes are that knowledge would be such a powerful move for companies like Facebook, Qualcomm and Samsung that it could become a focus for everyone.
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