Facebook avoids lameness, moves toward critical mass
There often comes a point when something that’s been up in the air starts to settle. This is one of those times, and it’s important for local sites:
According to an Anderson Analytics survey of college students, “Facebook was viewed as ‘cool’ by a whopping 82% of males and 90% of females. All other SNS’ (social networking sites) were deemed “lame” by significant percentages of both male and female collegiate users. In particular, MySpace–the granddaddy of SNS’–was considered ‘lame’ by the largest portion of college students (31%).”
Significantly, Anderson Analytics found no falloff of image for Facebook as its user base has expanded into these kids’ parents generations and beyond. And it found that Facebook now tops Google for usage among college kids.
The relevance of Facebook’s critical mass is twofold for local news sites: first, at a time of scarce resources, Facebook remains an area worth devoting staff time to, such as posting news items. Maybe you can dial back your effort on MySpace (if any). Or if you’re not doing much with social networking, you can start, and just focus on Facebook for now, maybe Twitter later.
Second, Facebook’s critical mass of members makes Facebook Connect look even more attractive as a piece of your site’s infrastructure. Connect gives you two things that are expensive in time and money to come by otherwise: a registration system that forces accountability for postings, and exposure to lots of people efficiently (through Facebook’s news feed) as people post to your site.
So if you’re running a local site and trying to figure out where to spend scare resources, here’s one place: Facebook.
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