How to Use Social Networking Sites for Beginners
How are people using Facebook
Since its inception, Facebook has become an integral component of peoples online social presence. For many, Facebook is the only online social network in which they participate, though the level of engagement varies across the user spectrum. From those that check the network periodically throughout the week to those who are almost compulsively active, the core driving force to participation is connection: connecting with colleagues, friends old and new, alumni networks, and for an increasing percentage of users, even professional connections.
The network itself has transformed into one with highly customizable privacy and visibility settings. Users can dial down their visibility to the point where they are nearly invisible on the platform. They can choose which posts or updates are visible and to whom. Conversely, those users who have chosen a more all in approach can leave everything completely public, from the images theyre tagged in to their active stream on Spotify.Features go beyond the individual users page to brand pages, events, groups, and now a pseudo standalone messenger service.
1. Groups are user created and have varying levels of privacy and security, much like individual profiles. Users can organize groups around any topic or event they like. From professionally relevant groups to those organized around special interests, such as nutrition, the variety is limited only by interest of the users. These groups have undoubtedly been a welcome and sticky addition to the platform over time.
2. Events allow users to organize around a point in time. Security here is fairly customizable, allowing for public, private, and somewhere in between events. A key feature here is the baked in ability to export your Facebook events to other calendars, no doubt increasing usage and reliance on this feature that blends users personal and professional lives.
3. Business pages have been an evolutionary product for Facebook. Over the years, they have taken several different shapes, though they are fairly stable today. Like other types of pages, the feature set is ever evolving as they add more to meet the needs of the marketers behind the brands efforts. Facebook has recently added more features in terms of analytics, reporting, security, and access, as well as increased the richness available to those wishing to dive into Facebook advertising.
4. Facebook Messenger is a new way to combine email, instant messenger, and Facebook messages. As new stand alone group message services popped up throughout 2010 and 2011, Facebook clearly saw an opportunity and acquired one of the more popular group messaging apps known as Beluga. They have since re branded this app as Facebook Messenger. On iOS, Blackberry, and Android devices, this is a stand alone app, but it also integrates across the Facebook app and web experiences.
As users increasingly rely on social platforms, these social networks will grow and respond as Facebook has. While theres still a great deal of opportunity in this space, Facebook offers users the most choice for the many facets of their lives while enabling flexibility for privacy and visibility. As users continue to adopt new behaviors and ultimately expectations, Facebook will need to continue to adapt to stay at the top of the social pile, so expect continued change and evolution. This change is necessary and beneficial, but can be frustrating from a marketing perspective.