Facebook still hanging on as top social media site

mike_stdFrom a college dorm room, Mark Zuckerberg launched a website where Harvard students could search for classmates and create an online network of friends. Ten years and over a billion users later, Facebook is the largest social media site in the world.

But in the last few years a lot of competition has grown, and Facebook should be worried.

Facebook started out only being available to Harvard students then expanded to all Ivy League schools and Stanford. By 2006 Facebook was available to everyone with a valid email address.

Zuckerberg knew there was a need to bring people closer together using the Internet.

Today, Facebook is the largest social media website in the world. Facebook has over 1.31 billion active users. 

Facebook is the most convenient way to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world. Even grandparents who struggle to find the “on” button on the computer have Facebook accounts.

Facebook has eliminated the need for high school reunions. People attend high school reunions to reminisce over past memories and publicly display how great their lives are. Facebook has given people a platform to post pictures from the past and brag about their current lives.

Facebook is no longer just a social media site. It’s become more of a lifestyle, or at least a big part of many people’s lives.

Forty-eight percent of people age 18-34 check Facebook daily, moments upon waking up. Checking Facebook has now become a part of daily routines. People wake up, groggily feel around for their phone and check Facebook before even brushing their teeth.

While Facebook is the largest social media site, it hasn’t been experiencing the same amount of growth as in the past.

Facebook’s advertising revenue increased by more than $1 billion in 2013 but membership growth was not as high as Facebook’s No.1  competitor: Twitter.

Twitter had 44 percent growth from June 2012 to March 2013. 

Facebook is making efforts to compete with the social media website.

Twitter is known for having “trending topics” where people can see what people are tweeting the most about.

Facebook recently added a trending news feature on the right of the news feed so people can see what is happening in the world. People use Twitter to stay up to date on current events, but Facebook is hoping that will change.

However, research shows that teens are using Facebook less and Twitter more.

Daniel Miller, a professor of material culture at University College London, said the main reason teens are still using Facebook is to show parents a sanitized version of their lives.

It’s easy to see how teens wouldn’t want to use a social networking site where their parents can see everything they post.

It’s hard to post more personal status updates when mom and dad can see it and disapprove.

And it’s not only teens, according to the Guardian. The information people choose to publish on Facebook has gone through an internal filter.

People are less likely to filter the pictures they post, the videos they share or what they say on other platforms like Skype or mobile apps.

Facebook has climbed to the top of the social media world over the past 10 years.

But Facebook is not the powerhouse it was just a few years ago. It needs to find a way to keep its young users if it wishes to remain on top.

Facebook is no longer just a social media site. It’s become more of a lifestyle, or at least a big part of many people’s lives. 

About Michael Huntley

Michael Huntley is a staff writer from the Spring 2014 COMM 471 class.