Facebook turned 10 last Tuesday, secure in its status as the dominant social network in the world and with 1.23 billion people listed as users. According to a study by Pew Research Center, the user base is only increasing; 64 per cent of adult users visit the site each day compared to 51 per cent in 2010. Among adolescents, unlike what is being reported lately, Facebook is not about to be abandoned.
The study shows how people are using the network and what they like or dislike about Facebook. Some users may not like certain aspects, but the fear of missing out on social activities is not one of them. What troubles most users is the excess sharing of personal information or getting tagged without prior permission.
According to the study, parents are especially protective of images of their children, as 57 per cent of users with children under 18 say posting pictures of children without permission is what they strongly dislike about Facebook.
On the other hand, the “fear of losing real life” is present among only 5 per cent of users; 84 per cent say that this aspect does not bother them in any way. The research also shows that men and women often have different reasons for using Facebook, but it all starts with shares and laughs.
Users like to see photos and videos of friends — 47 per cent say this is one of the main reasons for usage, and there is also the ability to share with many people at the same time.
Younger users more popular
Only 15 per cent of adults have over 500 friends in their network. Younger users usually are more popular — 27 per cent of users between 18 and 29 years have more than 500 friends.
Interestingly, 12 per cent of users say that they have often “unfriended” people under pressure. These removal requests tend to come mainly from other friends (35 per cent), spouses (12 per cent) or partners in a relationship (23 per cent).
In these 10 years, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has kept a promise. He has always maintained that Facebook will remain free.
Last year was a milestone for Facebook with revenues of $7.87 billion (Dh28.9 billion), a 55 per cent increase from 2012. It has a diversified revenue stream, generated from campaigns run for a small company to high-profile brands, and helped by a simple system of payments.
Last year, Facebook announced partnerships with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera and Qualcomm to launch Internet.org, dedicated to make internet access available to two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected. They will collaborate to develop technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable and decrease the cost of delivering data. Of course, in the end everyone will benefit.