Today CNN’s Simon Hooper discussed Facebook’s 5th birthday. Facebook has become such a part of our every day vernacular sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what we did without it (sort of like cell phones). I’d argue that Mr. Hooper’s article is missing something. The main point of discussion is if Facebook can survive. I say yes. He covers numerous points that are worth discussing when it comes to a juggernaut like Facebook for sure. But debating whether or not Facebook can generate the ad revenue that MySpace.com is generating I think may be irrelevant.
Let me explain why Facebook will survive and why non of the points Mr. Hopper touched on are the reasons why:
I challenge Hooper to take a closer look at the bigger picture. Guys like Zuckerberg, while a celebrity in his own right and of course an excessively successful person is changing the internet for the better. Places like Facebook and Craigslist aren’t allowing Madison Avenue to dictate the content, or development of their sites. They’re churning out great content – or in this case great tools so that a user can have the best experience when connecting with former classmates, friends etc.
“The culture of the Internet has also changed pretty dramatically over the past five years. Before, most people wouldn’t consider sharing their real identities online,” Zuckerberg said. “But Facebook has offered a safe and trusted environment for people to interact online, which has made millions of people comfortable expressing more about themselves.”
What I find most fascinating about Facebook isn’t the money making potential – although I’ll admit, I wouldn’t turn down a job with Mr. Zuckerberg. What fascinates me is the way we (as a society) are using this tool to communicate.
It’s the first time the internet is delivering on its promise of “bringing us together”.
My experience with Facebook has been nothing short of a perfect Brand Experience rivaled only by Google. Every time I log into my account I come across a new friend or colleague I’ve lost touch with. I love reading my friends statuses. I love learning about my friends in even greater detail than I had previously known, and I love that I can share with them the joy of being a new father without being obtrusive. We live in a world that moves at the speed of light, and Facebook is my only outlet to stoke the formerly dwindling embers of friendships that I’ve valued for years. I thank Facebook for living up to its potential. I praise them for not becoming the sexually charged bombast of Myspace.com. I admire them for asking my opinion when they serve an (albeit relatively unobtrusive ad).
Facebook is 5, will it survive?….yep.