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Unformatted text preview: o rks,” Techno lo gy Rev iew , July/ August 2008.
NP R, ABC, Auto ByTel, Harley-Davidso n, and Kraf t all use the service (so cial netwo rks f o r
Cheez Whiz?). There’s also Ning, which has enabled users to create o ver 2.3 millio n mini netwo rks o rganized
o n all so rts o f to pics as diverse as church gro ups, radio perso nalities, vegans, diabetes
suf f erers, and netwo rks limited to just f amily members. Or ho w abo ut the o f f ering f ro m Agriya Inf o way, based in Chennai, India? The f irm will sell yo u
Ko o tali, a so f tware package that lets develo pers replicate Facebo o k’s design and f eatures,
co mplete with f riend netwo rks, pho to s, and mini-f eeds. They haven’t sto len any co de, but they
have co pied the co mpany’s lo o k and f eel. Tho se with Zuckerberg ambitio ns can shell o ut the
f o ur hundred bucks f o r Ko o tali. Sites with names like Faceclub.co m and Umicity.co m have do ne just that—and go ne no where. Mini netwo rks that extend the co nversatio n (NP R) o r make it easier to f ind o ther rabidly lo yal
pro duct f ans (Harley-Davidso n) may ho ld a niche f o r so me f irms. And Ning is a neat way f o r
specialized gro ups to quickly f o rm in a secure enviro nment that’s all their o wn (it’s just us, no
“creepy f riends” f ro m the o ther netwo rks). While every market has a place f o r its niches, no ne
o f these will gro w to co mpete with the do minant so cial netwo rks. Even Go o gle, which has
tremendo us assets in search capability, Gmail, and o ther po tential distributio n channels to
leverage in its Go o gle+ ef f o rt, hasn’t co me clo se to matching Facebo o k’s lead. The value isn’t in
the techno lo gy; it’s in what the techno lo gy has created o ver time. Fo r Facebo o k, it’s a huge user
base that (f o r no w at least) is no t go ing anywhere else. K E Y TAK E AWAYS
The social graph expresses the connections between individuals and organiz ations.
Trust created through user verification and friend approval requiring both parties to consent
encouraged Facebook users to share more and helped the firm establish a stronger social graph
than other social networking rivals.
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.
- Winter '14