Facebook, the digital platform of the world
Imagine being told today, that you are no longer allowed to use social media. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram. Absolutely nothing. Can you imagine disconnecting from the digital world for the last time? Shutting it all down and traveling back in time to landlines, printed post and typewriters?
Today, where everything is available at the click of a button, social media has become an integral part of our lives, it has become a fundamental part of your thinking and decision making process on a day to day basis.
Facebook has an estimated 2.3 billion active users. Of this figure, an estimated 16 million are South African and this figure is rapidly growing. Considering Facebook was founded in 2004, it’s exponential growth over the past 14 years, makes it an entity which cannot be ignored as it is the largest media agent in the world…yet it produces no content. Everything comes from you and I, this means that facebook will always grow no matter what, as we are feeding the program second by second, week by week and year by year. It truly is mind blowing!
With billions of people flooding Facebook, we can no longer ignore the fact that the world has changed. Facebook now plays a huge role in our lives and it has even changed the way we as human beings respond and think.
How has Facebook changed the world and us as people?
- Making and losing friends
Making casual friends through social media is easy,all you have to do is find someone who has similar interests. But these relationships are not always long-lasting. Depending on how the individual can enhance your newsfeed and capture your attention, you can unfriend at the press of a button. What’s best, Facebook doesn’t notify the other person, allowing you to end your “friendship” with no consequences.
Furthermore, school reunions are now redundant. Why bother going to a reunion, when you can follow old school friends on Facebook? Through browsing their newsfeed, you can see who is married, how their careers are going and how many children they have and what their last brag was.
- Sharing your personal life is now the norm.
From your favourite photos, videos, books and thoughts to memories, drunk moments and memes, we are all guilty of sharing a tad too much at times.
This all forms part of how we now view privacy. Through your daily activity on Facebook, you share more than a few photos. This just goes to show how we are adapting as human beings to our not so new found world and all it has to offer. This powerful social media platform has a lot of data. Data that you and other users freely give without a second thought. Think about it, Facebook knows your name, your employment, your friends, your favourite sport team, top restaurant and even who you are spying on, but to name a few. It is constantly storing all your activity and then selling it as usable data. This data is so useful that makes all other forms of marketing and advertising almost seam irrelevant.
Our private lives are not the only thing that Facebook is changing. Since its establishment, Facebook has changed the business, advertising and marketing worlds tremendously.
How has it changed the business and media world?
Facebook can make news, break news and even decide what is news. What they can distribute in a moment is what all other forms of media dream of. For many people, their first link to any form of news, whether local, national or international, will come from Facebook and most of the time it will be viewed via mobile devices, according to South African facebook stats.
Individual articles are now the newest marketing tool in which brand’s/businesses can showcase themselves. Companies are now able to reach their exact target audience via an exclusive, focused and precise medium. News companies sell adverts around their articles which firstly is an amazing and powerful advertising tool and secondly it ends up cutting out a lot of the costs which usually go towards print, television and radio broadcasts. (Pixelfish Marketing is the proud supplier of such packages in Newcastle and Northern KZN 😀 )
In terms of marketing, Facebook is making it easier to reach target markets. In previous years, finding a target market was tricky, to say the least. Now, thanks to Facebook collecting a lot of your data, brands can now get their items right in front of their ideal target audience in a matter of minutes.
HOWEVER! If you are not extremely up to date, skilled, and experienced in facebook (believe me 99% of the world isn’t) you can end up doing a HEAP of damage. Tread carefully with Social media as one mistake leads to 30 more without you even knowing). Use a specialist like Pixelfish Marketing.
But while businesses can harness Facebook to reach millions, connect to friends and family, could this mega media becoming network becoming a monster?
According to Facebook’s founding president, Sean Parker, the social media platform is becoming a monstrous entity. He believes the entire social media experience creates pleasure from receiving validation from others. But how will creating pleasure through validation entice people? Because, one of the basic needs in a person’s psychology is to be accepted. By creating a platform where you are constantly acknowledged you are tempted to return constantly.
In fact, he claims that Facebook founders knew they were creating something addictive. Parker says that they intentionally exploited a vulnerability in human psychology. But while Park finds himself concerned about the impact Facebook has on us as people, society and businesses, one thing is for certain. Facebook has truly changed the world and is growing daily by +- 500 000 New users! Crazy!
What are your thoughts on the impact Facebook has on society? Do you think it is an addictive platform, designed to consume your time, or do you think it plays a positive role in society? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.