How Facebook Is Winning The Internet
It is no secret that Facebook wants its users to be on Facebook as much as possible. After all, this social media giant's business model has always been predicated on keeping its users engaged within its pages for as long as it can, and in the process, keeping itself happy (by generating review via advertising to Facebook users) and publishers and merchants, too.
Of course, the trick is in not letting users go outside the Facebook environment. A few years ago, Zuckerberg and his team tried to find a way to keep Facebook interesting. So they let the News Feed teem with hundreds of thousands of links to content (news stories, YouTube vids, company websites) that are hosted outside Facebook's domain.
But now, the Facebook crew discovered that they can just get rid of any reason for users to go outside of its pages. Thus, Facebook's quest to absorb all of the Internet began. But how did the social media do it?
It was in 2007 that Facebook introduced Pages for the first time. For some people, Pages was just a way they could get their businesses, clubs, organizations, or clans have a presence in Facebook. But Pages actually gave Facebook an opportunity to lure groups or business entities into their realm, as opposed to directing Facebook users to their websites.
Over time, it became common for some business owners to update their Facebook pages more often than they are updating their own official websites. For Facebook, it meant that more traffic was being sucked to them, instead of being directed out.
In the early days, people uploaded videos on YouTube and shared them on Facebook. But now, you can upload your own video directly to your Facebook account, and share it instantly to all of your contacts and beyond.
And the great thing about Facebook's auto-play videos is the notable absence of ads. There is nothing wrong with ads, but sometimes it gets frustrating when you are excited to view a video on YouTube and then forced to wait a few seconds before you can skip the ad, or before the ad itself is done rolling. And don't even mention those pop-up ads. This does not happen on any Facebook video.
People like sharing inspiring, funny, or even horrific news stories on Facebook. But often, the link leading to the news publication takes time to load. Facebook remedies that with Instant Articles, which allows news stories to be viewed more easily on the News Feed rather than from an external source.
Facebook used to be a place on the Internet where you can get updated with what is going on with other people's lives. Now it has become a venue for all kinds of interaction, including chat (Messenger), video calls, forums (Rooms), online games, and even trips to memory lane (On This Day).
Facebook now even has a Buy button. Which means that when users find something they like on Facebook that can be bought, they can just purchase it right away without having to be re-directed to another e-commerce (and do another log-in process, ID verification process, etc).
The remarkable thing is that there is still so much that Facebook can improve upon, and odds are, it is going to find a way to do just that. That kind of outlook certainly deserves a like.