Facebook reaches 2 billion users but, what next?

Facebook now has 2 billions users. It’s an amazing number and the ultimate achievement for a platform that aims to connect people.

Bloomberg reports that this is roughly a quarter of the whole world’s population and over half the people on the Internet. It also showed this in relation to other popular apps. YouTube comes in a close second with 1.5 billion logged-in users a month while Instagram has 700 million and Twitter 328 million a month.

Mark’s announcement came with some added news that there will be some new features to Facebook coming out shortly.

You might have already seen the ‘‘good adds up‘ which uses your pictures and posts to create a bespoke user video which aims to bring you and your community closer.

Facebook will also start celebrating ‘the good people do’. Birthday messages, creation of groups and reactions of love will earn users a message from Facebook in their news feed thanking them.

But, what’s next fundamentally for the platform?

Mark Zuckerberg has had to change Facebook’s mission statement from one about connecting the world to bringing the world closer together. It’s new aim is to focus attention on groups and communities on the site to improve their experience and use.

For a company that started in 2004, it’s changed the face of modern relationships, technology, communication, PR, marketing, advertising and sales. Once the majority of people use it, the focus will have to shift to one that’s about improving relationships, and bringing people together. It’s a smart move from Zuckerberg to get this ball rolling early to try and keep the site relevant.

Most people in PR can see Facebook’s user demographics shifting. It’s not hard to tell as Mums, Dads, Nans and Grandads join the Facebook fold.

Even my Nan is on it! Our usage is very different though and that’s where Mark needs to strike a balance. Each generation, community and group uses the site for different purposes an it’s hard to try and cater for everyone.

Zuckerberg is investing heavily to bring the Internet to more of the world, so they can access Facebook too. His initiative Internet.org aims to connect everyone in the world to the web.

With more people and popularity comes the struggle to stay on top. The majority of younger people I know are on Facebook but tend to use Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp and newer apps to stay in touch with their friends.

Recently Facebook hasn’t had the same draw as it did for my generation in 2004 when it revolutionised our world.

Today’s digital natives are used to having convenience like no other generation. Facebook, the Internet and Google have always been there. So will people start to take it for granted? What can change on the site?

Big changes have come to photographs on the app over the past few years. New changes are coming to advertising and the next big changes will be coming to video use.Β Facebook is already trying to introduce video profile pictures, a bit like your Snap Chat user picture.

Fundamentally algorithms are changing and Facebook is becoming more of a pay to play platform for businesses. How this will impact social users is hard to tell.

Will trust be lost and social users leave or can a balance be found? I already find myself questioning what I see on Facebook as the levels of adverts and sponsored content increase.

So how does Facebook avoid becoming like MySpace or Vine?Β 

It must evolve rapidly, invest heavily and it needs to be three steps ahead of what’s happening now. Both MySpace and Vine failed as they didn’t change fast enough to keep pace with technology or the demand for new features. Mark’s already looking at artificial intelligence, monetising the site as well as bringing the community of users closer together.

Will it be enough? Can Facebook evolve fast enough to stay popular, relevant and useful? Or does it need something that hasn’t even been invented yet?

Like Mark said in his post “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you.”Β He’s absolutely right, it is a journey. Facebook is a first, it’s never been done before and it’s trial by error as it finds a way to move forward.

I don’t know the answer and I think it’s going to be really interesting seeing what happens to the company as it juggles it’s veracious stakeholders and competitors.

 

I’d love to know what you think! Will there always be a place for Facebook or do you think it will meet the fate of similar apps? Share with me your comments, thoughts, opinions and suggestions in the comments section below.

 

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