Facebook Is Not Just For Kids

Whether you consider yourself to be “all that”, or are the parent of a child from 12 to 30, you probably have heard of  the online social networking phenomenon, Facebook. Facebook, the brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg,  was created in 2004 by this former college student from his Harvard dorm room.  Created initially as a communications and networking tool for Harvard college students, Facebook was used to share and exchange information about  exams, professors and other relevant topics. Zuckerberg decided to open up Facebook to other colleges and enlisted the help of roommate Dustin Moskovitz. After Harvard came  Stanford, Columbia and Yale and then on to other Ivy League colleges and schools in the Boston area. By the beginning of Summer 2004, 45 schools or hundreds of thousands of college students, were using it.

Soon after, word of Facebook spread outside the ivy covered halls of college campuses across the U.S. and into the mainstream youth population. But for many years it remained a social networking tool for the under 25 crowd. An easy and fun way to communicate with friends outside of school, keeping track of a large group of friends  all in one place –  their status at any given moment, photos, events and ramblings. Quick to embrace new technology, the computer savvy youth population took this method of group communication to the next level….and it was an adult and parent free zone where you could say whatever you wanted to say right from the comfort of your own home! Safer than MySpace.com due to stronger privacy settings, Facebook became one of the most visited sites on the Internet and maintains that position to this day.

Hitwise US – Top 20 Websites – October, 2008

This list features the most popular websites based on US Internet usage for October, 2008, ranked by market share of visits across all Hitwise industries.

Rank Website Market Share
1. http://www.google.com 6.17%
2. mail.yahoo.com 4.7%
3. http://www.myspace.com 3.91%
4. http://www.yahoo.com 3.78%
5. mail.live.com 1.94%
6. http://www.ebay.com 1.56%
7. search.yahoo.com 1.49%
8. http://www.facebook.com 1.24%
9. http://www.msn.com 1.17%
10. http://www.youtube.com 0.98%
11. http://www.gmail.com 0.82%
12. images.google.com 0.55%
13. http://www.wikipedia.org 0.53%
14. mail.aol.com 0.43%
15. my.yahoo.com 0.41%
16. search.msn.com 0.4%
17. news.yahoo.com 0.4%
18. http://www.pogo.com 0.39%
19. address.yahoo.com 0.35%
20. http://www.craigslist.org 0.34%

Note – the Hitwise data featured is based on US market share of visits, which is the percentage of online traffic to the domain or industry, from the Hitwise sample of 10 million US Internet users. Hitwise measures more than 1 million unique websites on a daily basis, including sub-domains of larger websites. Hitwise categorizes websites into industries on the basis of subject matter and content, as well as market orientation and competitive context.

Source – Hitwise – October, 2008 – based on market share of visits.

Fast forward a few years…Mom and Dad are beginning to wonder why Junior is spending so much time on Facebook, what could possibly be so entertaining that hours are spent online chatting  instead of playing video games or doing homework? It wouldn’t be long before the “older generation” discovered that maybe Facebook could be used and appreciated by a grown up as well…..

On the flip side, Facebook needed to start generating some revenue, the year 2007 brought advertising to the Facebook platform. The 35+ demographic was beginning to catch on as the Facebook frenzy continued.

Tune in next week for Part 2 of this post, how Facebook can be used by any age demographic both personally and to establish a business presence.

Contact Social Media Marketing Experts The InterCon Group to find out how we can grow your business by creating a custom designed Facebook Business Page.

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