New joiners to Facebook go through phases – understanding privacy, etiquette and addiction. But what happens when they settle down? The functionality of Facebook is a “lite” version of many other social technologies many have come to know.
Facebook is growing strong, recently passing the 175 million members mark. I’ve seen many folks go from skeptic to addict in recent months. My parents are on Facebook. My neighbors are on Facebook. My high school class is now mostly on Facebook when 6 months ago it was the exception. My CEO, clients and colleagues are on Facebook. Campers from summers in the late 80s and early 90s when I was a camp counselor are on Facebook. Facebook dominates dinner conversation with friends, and Facebook regularly freaks out my wife when people she talks to know what I am up to.
Take a look at what people are doing in Facebook after they get through the initial connection streak:
- The “25 things about me” meme is one of a dozen different types of viral “notes” going around. Isn’t this a form of blogging? I doubt many would claim the “Blogger” title though.
- Over time, more people seem to use status updates more. I don’t have any scientific data to back this up, but I’ve noticed people slowly adopting using the status update for a funny anecdote, what’s for dinner, a victory potty training moment. The status update has many similarities to Twitter.
- More people are posting and sharing links, photos, and other content. Enter (arguably) easy to use versions of Delicious.com, Flickr and Friendfeed.
For these reasons I think Facebook is an easy “gateway” for those who don’t use those other tools day to day and are building their communities – and it may even encourage more adoption of Twitter, Friendfeed and other tools down the road (especially with their integration to your News feed). All of these features add up to introducing core social media technology functions to the average Joe – who also happens to own a scanner and is sharing pictures of me from my senior prom. (The mullet was all business in front, party in the back, I swear).
Did Facebook introduce you or people you know to social media? How’s it going so far?
Photo credit (above): escapetowisconsin via Flickr