I have hit the point of no return on Facebook – my mum has signed up and is 22% active. The UK is the second largest population on Facebook with 22,261,080 members, roughly a third of the population, now on the site.
We know that Facebook hit the tipping point ages ago, and it would seem that it is very much in the late adopter stage of its life – on this island anyway.
Facebook is of course, evergreen seemingly, as mobile use grows and operators are handset manufacturers look for easier ways to incorporate social networking on to devices.
Will Facebook soon be heading the way of Myspace, where growth is only possible through acquisition, rather than organic membership sign ups?
It would appear not, globally at least, with countries like Poland, Thailand and Portugal seing significant sign up numbers increase weekly.
However, the most important aspect of the web is search. We use Google a heck of a lot and content that appears on that all important first page is pivotal to the awareness of a brand.
Google’s Social Search, it was reported last week, won’t use much of the data within Facebook, to guide searches toward relevant content.
We do know, that this is already occurring, as data is being pulled in from Twitter – again, highlighting the importance of the real-time web.
Does this mean that Facebook’s function has to evolve to stay current? Yes, in any Industry that is the expected norm.
Facebook is used as a conduit to connect people and to reinvigorate long-lost relationships, post images you don’t want your boss to see and to provide a platform for discussion conducted in a private (ie Google can;t see it) way.
I can’t see this changing. However, as folks start to embrace the availability of geo-tagging and location-based services become more prevalent in day-to-day web based activities, how can Facebook respond?
WordPress and Twitter have both started to use location functions (how important are local trends by the way?) and the de-regionalisation of Facebook indicates they do not see this as an important part of people’s future connectivity – a mistake in my opinion.
I do not think we will see the next big thing, in social web terms, yet, but I would put a cheeky fiver on it being some sort of real-time Four Square Twitter augumented reality app or device.