Assignment - Week 13 - Facebook's Dilemma

Assignment - Week 13 - Facebook's Dilemma - Facebooks...

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Facebook’s Dilemma Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites in the world, currently surpassed in North America only by MySpace. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, the site had 118 million worldwide users as of June 2008. Facebook allows users to create a profile and join various types of self-contained networks, including college- wide, workplace, and regional networks. The site includes a wide array of tools that allow users to connect and interact with other users, including messaging, groups, photo- sharing, and user- created applications. The site was originally open only to a small handful of colleges, but the site has grown explosively since it opened its doors to all college students and eventually the general public. Facebook is now one of the most recognizable sites on the Web. Compared to its rival, MySpace, Facebook’s interface is simplistic and clean and tends to attract those looking for a more structured social networking environment. Facebook represents a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach highly targeted audiences based on their demo-graphic information, hobbies and personal preferences, geo-graphical regions, and other narrowly specified criteria in a comfortable and engaging environment. Businesses can place advertisements that are fully integrated into primary features of the site, such as the News Feed, a continually updating list of news stories about members’ friends’ activi-ties on Facebook. Firms also can create Facebook pages where users can learn more about and interact with their companies. For example, a restaurant can advertise by having Facebook place items in the News Feeds of its customers indicating that those people ate there recently. Blockbuster has recent rentals and reviews of its movies appearing in similar fashion. Many companies, including eBay, Central Mountain Air, the Canadian Cancer Society, and The Globe and Mail maintain Facebook pages where users can learn more about the company and its products. For advertisers, Facebook presents unique and exciting opportunities. It represents a gold mine of opportunity because of the information the site has gathered and because of the richness of the social networking environ-ment. The site has also benefited from its status as a first-mover in the social networking marketplace, amassing a large audience whose users are reluctant to leave for fear of leaving the rest of their friends behind. Despite these advantages, Facebook’s path to profitability has not been smooth. The company has encountered more than its fair share of controversy, mostly concerning its han-dling and usage of the extensive information it collects from its users. Though users contribute most of their information to Facebook willingly, the privacy and user controls over the information granted to Facebook are the biggest concerns most users have with the site. Facebook’s dilemma is finding a way to turn a profit and to continue to increase revenues using
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Assignment - Week 13 - Facebook's Dilemma - Facebooks...

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