Prediction: Is Facebook here to stay or will it fall prey?

Facebook – the favorite social networking website of the world was launched in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg along with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The website’s membership was originally limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It slowly added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone. The company claims almost 1 billion users today.

Facebook was very successful in phasing out it’s predecessors like Hi5 and Myspace. So the big question that has been hovering around a lot is – is Facebook in for a long innings or will the bubble burst in the coming years?

Facebook approaches their model from a standpoint of longevity; they are strategically planning 5 or 10 years out as we speak. Look at the ‘Like’ button for instance. This is a function of Facebook which has migrated to the rest of the web. Similarly Facebook’s future success depends on product innovation and new services, without which the user population will migrate to other “hives”.

The current fluctuation in the stock price is no indication of future prospects, but for the myopic vision of the short term investors and speculators. In the long term the company has to try and monetize their user data, so that they can realize their true market value. Facebook is currently sitting on a pile of cash and how they put this cash to use is yet to be seen. Will they squander it in empire building projects or will they put it in return enhancing projects is a question that only the future will answer.

Facebook has not only captured the market share but also increased share of mind and heart which makes its members keep coming back. The first question that arises in most people’s mind when they think about Facebook not being around is what happens to the many pictures, conversations and memories that we have on this site? For most, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without a daily dose of Facebook!

We are in a relationship building age of marketing, what Facebook is offering now is in line with societal movements and therefore it is highly unlikely that it will not be around in a few years or something bigger or better will take away this position of monopoly from them. As preferences change, Facebook sticking around will come down to whether or not they can serve the needs of its members. If not, then you can assume Facebook would fall prey.

By: Suruchi & Naimeesha


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Pinterest – an illusion or is it really that awww-esome?

ImagePinterest is catching up on the social media popularity charts. Recently ranked as the third most widely used social media website after Facebook and Twitter, it is a  pin board style social photo sharing website that allows users to manage and upload pictures of different facets of life – fashion, home, food and many other interesting topics. Pinterest’s mission  is to “connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting”.

I usually turn to Pinterest when I want to see something beautiful. Something I might not own in real life because I don’t have access to it – sometimes it’s not affordable, sometimes it’s not practical and sometimes it’s just too much of an effort to own it. So what do I do? Log into Pinterest and just click away! Everything that I desire becomes a part of my board and I’m made it to believe that I ALMOST own it.

So, is a social networking website like Pinterest creating an illusion and taking us far far away from reality?

Is it really okay to make a wishlist and keep pinning stuff? Some say it is a good information sharing platform and introduces you to things and places you might have not seen before. But does it make you happy that you can see it if not necessarily own all the things on your board or does it leave you with a feeling of dissatisfaction because you see these things in your wishlist over and over again but you cannot actually own it just yet? Does it tease and confuse the human brain? On one hand it can lead to unrealistic wishful thinking, while on the other it can help the human mind organize things better.

“Most of the social networking sites are not black or white. They have shades of grey to them which means there are both pros and cons. Human being always struggles to do a lot of things in a short span of time. In that process he keeps watching the surroundings and many of the wishes are kept in a formatted or an unformatted structure in the mind. Pinterest  helps in a way to compile them in one area. It can sometimes make the mind clearer and organized by pinning them on the boards. Then again, one needs to know where to draw the line and not get addictive and spend hours together on such a site. It’s important to differentiate between reality and wishful thinking” says, Mr. Murthy, a renowned psychiatrist in Bangalore, India

So, is pinterest a sustainable platform for social media marketing for ‘every’ business model?

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. But is a beautiful picture really enough to communicate your product or brand in the competitive market today? For lifestyle products it might not be enough but it is definitely a good way to make your products more ‘visible’ and ‘desirable’ in the eyes of the many pinterest users. It helps catch those eyeballs and gives the potential customer a reason to think about that online purchase or a walk towards the store. But how practical is it for a service or a product which might not have so much of a ‘visual appeal’? Take the example of mobile service provider. Apart from the posters of the product offerings is there anything else that can be communicated which is relevant in a picture? This might leave many marketers feel “left out” if their product or service is not very visually appealing.

So will Pinterest continue to be the rage that it is and beat Facebook and Twitter to become the number ONE social networking site? Personally, I don’t think so. It lacks a human and ‘real’ touch which other social media websites have managed to keep alive. But for now, I’m not complaining about this website.  YOU HAVE TO ADMIT, IT IS VERY ADDICTIVE AND PRETTY AWW-ESOME – I’M PINNING AWAY AS WELL! 

Written by – Suruchi Jajoo

Edited by – Naimeesha Murthy



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