Facebook is one of the social networking sites on the Internet that was launched on February 2004 and is operated and owned by Facebook Inc. Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates from Harvard University are the main developers of Facebook (Sutherland 1). The company has its headquarters at California, United States. In the recent past, people have gone from being relative neophytes in the social media to having a vast majority of personal connection and brand affinities captured in Facebook. Facebook has now become the dominant player in the social media. No other company comes closer to Facebook’s market penetration and the rich set of information it has been able to collect (Treadaway and Smith 1-5). By September 2012, there were more than one billion active users of Facebook where the majority uses their mobile devices. In the United States alone, Facebook as at 2012 had more than 150 million users, and the number keeps on increasing every month (Treadaway and Smith 13).
Before using the site, users are required to register, create their profiles, and add other users as friends
From there, they are able to connect through exchanging messaging and automatic notifications after updating or commenting on other user’s updates. In addition, users are able to join groups of their interests and categorize other friends as close friends or people from work. People use Facebook to connect with their friends around and abroad, share videos and links, upload unlimited number of photos, and learn about people they meet. Apart from being a social networking site, Facebook is also a communication platform where people and organizations are able to communicate to the public (Facebook Inc. 1-12). The company’s mission is to provide people with power to share or make the entire world more connected and open. The users are encouraged to change the world they are living in through posting links, sharing stories, connecting with influencers across the world, and buying or donating products. The company has been able to shift its power by being open to the public and allowing individuals to join even those who are beyond elite league of the social networking sites. The company also allows the developers to build more applications on this platform.
Many people do not understand how Facebook makes money as users are able to join free of charge
The revenues of the company in 2009 reached $ 500 million up from $ 300 m in 2008 (Facebook Inc. 1-12). The revenues are obtained from the self-service adverts which appear at the right side of the site. Many companies post their adverts on Facebook where the users are able to see at a fee. It is one of the best ways of advertising since there are millions of users on Facebook at any given time hence the adverts are able to reach millions of people across the world.
From 2010, Facebook social site has emerged as the most visited webpage in the United States and other parts of the world. The company has been able to instigate a cultural shift from how we share and with whom we share information. Social networking sites have been able to mediate the boundaries between individuals and groups, and have also set the boundaries between public and personal life. The industry has been able to influence the political, social, cultural and economic outcomes (Sutherland 1-43). For example, in the 2008 presidential elections in the United States, Barrack Obama was able to use the social media to facilitate grassroots support. New communication strategies have been developed where the media is and other organizations are able to communicate to the public (Sutherland 1-43).
The online industry is growing as the number of uses increase each day
There are other competitors in the industry who include Twitter, LinkedIn, and Orkut among others (Lawmacs 1). Twitter is a social network site that has more than 300 million active users. The site is widely known for the short micro blogs which are known as tweets and are limited to about 140 characters. One of the reasons as to why this site has attracted many people is due to the celebrity following although many people admit it is not user friendly. It is the major competitor of Facebook in terms of followers and business clients. The registration is also free just like in the Facebook (Lawmacs 1). The other competitor is LinkedIn. This site is more like a business centric network site. The site helps people to build their professional networks and stay in touch with other professionals. It is possible to manage one’s brand or personal identity apart from marketing one’s skills so as to open more opportunities. This site is the largest social network site that focuses mainly on the businesses and it has more than 135 million users. It is also a competitor to Facebook as it connects people through the Internet from different parts of the world. The other competitor is Orkut network site run by Google Inc. the site has more than 66 million users across the world especially in India and Brazil (Lawmacs). Online competition has increased over time and Facebook has introduced additional applications to attract more users. These three competitors offer different ways of interacting and connecting the users. Some of them are not popular like Facebook while others are not user friendly. From the trend, it seems that none of the competitors will be filing the market place for Facebook any time soon (Lawmacs 1).
There are several challenges faced by Facebook Inc. and one of them is Facebook fatigue where many people are getting bored. There are many new users each day and some of them are children. The older generation is thus keeping off from Facebook as it seems to be of the younger generation. The increased number of adverts in the Facebook page has increased significantly hence many users are not comfortable with such ads. Immediately after Facebook was founded, the number of ads was not many, but as time goes, the number of ads has risen significantly. The threat of phishing and spam has also emerged in the recent past. Internet hackers are targeting Facebook as it is one of the most visited internet site. The spam messages and phishing poses a threat to the Facebook team as they have to hire experts to deal with such acts.
Facebook has different target markets
One of the targeted customers is the youth who are able to access the internet frequently. Most of the users of Facebook are the young adults between the age of 18 and 35 years. The applications that have developed by Facebook such as photo upload and sharing video links are attractive to the young people hence they always spend time on Facebook. The other targeted customers on Facebook are the business community. Many organizations are encouraged to advertise their product on the internet and Facebook is one of the best sites to place ads (Daft 12-45). Organizations that manufacture products that target the youth do their advertising on Facebook as they are able to reach many young people on Facebook. The company also targets the Internet users all over the world and in many cases, most internet users are the rich people.
Facebook’s marketing strategy is basically based on word-of-mouth marketing (Kirkpatrick). The strategy involves getting people to talk about other people’s services and products. It has been able to combine the e-commerce with the marketing where clients are able to transact online. For example, if a Facebook user purchases a product, the seller may ask for the permission to promote the product on his social network and pay an agreed fee to Facebook if the user agrees (Kirkpatrick). Facebook is able to distinguish between the users and advertisers and it is able to make a distinction between fanship with a brand and friendship with a person. The social graph of Facebook is quite different from other social networks. It is able to inject the commercial information in to the social graph without disturbing the human relationships which has allowed the company to thrive. Facebook has been able to change the overall nature of marketing, and the marketers are able to work closely with the product developers (Kirkpatrick).
In conclusion, Facebook Inc. through the leadership of mark Zuckerberg has been able to control the online market. The marketing strategy adopted by the company is user friendly as people are allowed to socialize and at the same time, advertising is going on. To avoid boredom, Facebook should develop other new applications that interest the users as the number of users is expect to increase in the future. The foundation of this company is well built hence it may be difficult for the company to fall in the near future. Facebook has contributed greatly to the society in terms of educating people, communication and connecting people all over the world. It has also shaped politics in many countries of the world by providing a platform whereby the users are able to share their opinions. In the business industry, companies have succeeded through advertising on Facebook.