OPINION: Don't forget about Facebook

Facebook Applications, Web 2.0

Thumbnail image for facebook-small-logo.pngWith the tech world all a-twitter about, er… Twitter, and having little sexy accidents when talking about Spotify, it’s sometimes easy to forget about Facebook. In reality, Facebook is only a couple of years older than both Twitter and Spotify, and there’s still people out there who say things like “I don’t get all this Facebook malarky”.

Let’s start with the numbers. Facebook recently hit 175 million active users – if it were a country it’d be the 6th most populous in the world, between Brazil and Pakistan. More than 3 billion minutes are spent on the site every day – enough time to watch the extended edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy 4.3 million times. Or read “War and Peace” 35,000 times.

Don’t forget that Facebook popularized the app store concept way before Apple, too. Sure, most Facebook apps are a load of old rubbish and their integration was an unmitigated disaster for the user experience (hence why they’ve mostly disappeared) but most iPhone apps are crap too. Seriously, how long does iFart sit on your phone before you delete it?

Despite being blamed for wanton destruction, Facebook even saves lives! News reached us this morning of a kid who was saved from a suicide attempt by a friend over Facebook chat. The power of having all you friends at your fingertips can stop people from doing silly things, and can rescue them when they do silly things.

So don’t forget about Facebook. Businesses – If you’re developing an Android app, stop and think – why not port this to Facebook, too? If you’re thinking of starting an ad campaign on Twitter or Spotify, remember Facebook’s userbase and think about using Facebook’s powerful ad tools to reach its bazillions of users. It’s not old hat.

The rest of you – go check in on your Facebook friends. Maybe you haven’t seen them since primary school, but that doesn’t mean you have nothing in common – on the contrary, you might have more than ever in common. Go poke that girl you ‘fancied’ when you were 13. She might even poke you back. The rest of the world is a little slower than you, mister early-adopter. Don’t forget about them.

Here’s a handy link. Click it, and spend half an hour remembering the web as we knew it two years ago. You might even like it more: Facebook.

Duncan Geere
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