Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Is Facebook really the next 'big thing'?

It seems that Facebook is the core focus for the Internet press at the moment, with a new piece of news or analysis each day. However, is it just the next latest craze that gains media interest instead of Digg, Twitter or SecondLife, or is it really a ground-breaking tool that others - including social networking competitor MySpace - will choose to follow?

An interesting article by the LA Times considers 'the Facebook revolution' and what it means for the future use of the web - will it really contribute to a significant change in the way the Internet will be used over the next 5 years? Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly said that he wants Facebook to become the biggest, most valuable database in the world - 'the database of human likes and dislikes'.

Since May, Facebook opened up its working to developers to allow anyone to produce 'widgets' and other programs that cover a wide range of applications to help the user experience - already there are more than 5,000 to choose from - such as the popular iLike and Movies tools that allow users to know what music, concerts and movies their friends like best. Marketing agencies are working hard to develop applications that gain business advantage without being too overtly commercial.

Facebook could become a central source of recommendation that drives markets and product sales, with advertisers effectively losing control of their marketing spend. Facebook, or a future version of this type of social networking site, could also become the Internet hub that drives activity and use, where individuals control their own data and influence market trends. This article covers some of these possibilities.

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