Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Experience Being On Facebook For 5 Years

Facebook was launched in 2004, which means that it has been nearly a decade that it has existed on the web. As of March 2013, there are 1.15 billion monthly active users worldwide. I’m pretty sure that you yourself have a facebook account.
"facebook has embiggend our lives"
The growth of facebook is really phenomenal and before is start my article today, I would like to talk about some interesting statistics about facebook which I found over the past weekend, some of these stats might sound unbelievable but they are indeed accurate. The largest age group on facebook is actually users aging in at 45-54 years old and the second largest is usersaged 24-34 years old. In addition to that, 25% of facebook users are from the united states. 92% of corporate companies prefer using facebook compared to other social networks to market their products. Also, more than 50% of the fortune 500 companies have facebook pages. 

These are some of the short facts about facebook, maybe in the forseen future I will compile all of these facts in to an articles. Moving on to today’s article, I am going to talk about my experience in using facebook for this past 5 years. First up I will start with a story of how my first facebook account was created. My first ever account was created by me my friends which were nagging me to create an account for a few weeks, in the end they helped me create the account and that’s how it started out for me. Seemingly enough my first facebook account was created on the 8th of August 2008 or 08.08.08, that day was also the first day of the Beijing Olympics.
"i didn't realize it until i was researching about this article earlier this year, really a coincidence"
At the time when I was still not quite an internet user but I did have a myspace account and I also was blogging around that time. Moving to facebook which was in that time still not that widespread yet was pretty hollow as I only had about 20 friends or so and the only thing which I did on facebook that time was to use the poke button to poke my friends. Up to today I have a few facebook accounts and the present account which I’m always using was created 1 year after my first account. In that timeframe where joined facebook, the social network was more towards app/games than sharing content or consuming content as most of the content mainly because people who want to write their thoughts would either blog about it in blogger or write a tweet. Additionally to that in early 2009 twitter saw an explosive growth and somehow I created my one and only twitter account that year. 
Well towards the end of 2009 I started playing restaurant city because I saw my siblings play with the game on facebook and that game was a high ranked game on facebook in that year alongside pet society. Among all of the games I played on facebook in the years, reataurant city was the best. But sadly when EA bought playfish the game when south in terms of user base. Well earlier this year I was like bored reading up tech news so I thought why not I fire up restaurant city and see how my restaurant is doing and the yeah a page came up saying that the game has retired I was like saying fu*K. Seemingly enough I might have missed their email about the retirement of the game. 

Moving forward to 2011 I joined Google+ and in the start it really wasn’t that pleasant mainly because the page is not centered but always facing the left hand side (found out this only happens in high res displays only) leaving a big white empty spot on the right (what is google thinking?!), this can be seen in the present with the new youtube layout which has the same orientation which sides to the left hand side leaving a lot of empty unused space on the right. But last year Google overhauled the layout of Google Plus which is the current 3 slot feed which uses up the available realestate. Well Google+ is actually a very excellent social network which in terms of design can easily trump facebook. But the reason why people don’t loiter around Google’s homegrown social network is because many of our friends are just not there and Google+ is really a bit complicated at first but after learning its actually more simpler and well planned compared to facebook. 

I’ll be doing a few articles about Google+ early next year to showcase some of its features, so stay tuned. One of the most memorable events which I remembered in my 5 year in facebook is when the social media giant introduced the timeline profile with the timeline cover in late 2011. People were like saying they did not like it and said that they preferred the old one which had a little bit more customizations. But personally I like the timeline profile from the start mainly due to the inclusion of the timeline cover which gives a profile a certain personality. 
Fast forward to the present day in which LG has taken the wraps off their new flagship smartphone the G2. Facebook is pretty much a totally different thing compared to when I joined facebook 5 years ago on this very day. In todays generation people are constantly holding up their smartphones and using apps. The facebook app on mobile has evolved a lot in the years since it was introduced. Currently the facebook app is basically an advertising platform for advertisers with an ad popping up in every 7-8 feed items. In the desktop, facebook has also changed a lot with inclusions of new features recently like graph search and the new news feed which is more intuitive. With the phenomenal growth of facebook, practically all of your friends have a facebook account.

I used to have 1000+ friends and in the past few months I have been filtering and refining my friends list and I found a lot of people which I did not even know in my friends list. With facebook being not that safe in this era I’m locking down my account and I’m still in progress to filter my friend list into groups. I have to say in these 5 year facebook security has been increased and hacking a facebook account is not as easily done than a few years ago. One of the things which I don’t quite like on facebook is the news feed, currently facebook is filtering a lot of content so basically I’m looking at about only 30-40% of the content shared by my friends and on the mobile app that percentage gets lower. 

It just feels seemingly wrong that you have so many friends and you don’t always see their content. But I have found a simple workaround which is to classify your friends in to lists and you can see all their content. Another thing which i do not like one bit at all are these pages which post up fake giveaways asking you to share the photo and like the page and in return they seem to have a lot of stock of devices like the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 to give away for free, now these are just ridiculous. Also there are like these pages stating that if you like a photo they will donate a few cents to the situation in the photo and that is just outrageously a scam in disguise.
"users must be more aware"
Additionally in this time, facebook and other social medias are an important asset as it has the power to convey information like breaking news to everybody in a strike. Take for example there is a natural disaster and not everybody watches the news so social media comes to play where everybody starts sharing out the news and it becomes a frenzy of activity. This is about it, my experience of being on facebook for 5 years which all started without my consent. 

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