martes, 14 de octubre de 2008

Go on and spread it!

Yesterday I had the huge opportunity of attending a conference from Mark Zuckerberg himself at my university (
For those of you who have no idea who this guy is, he’s not only the creator of Facebook, but -according to Forbes magazine- the “youngest billionaire on earth and possibly the youngest self-made billionaire ever”. Yes… your eyes aren’t deceiving you, quite impressive, uh?

As mostly all of you know, Facebook is the biggest social networking website with more than 100M current users. Launched in February 4, 2004; when it was only a class project, it quickly became a success at Harvard (where else?) and more than two-thirds of the school’s students signed up in the first two weeks. Later on it expanded to other Ivy Colleges and so on, until it became the massive network we all know, where users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people.

But what is Facebook’s key to success?? Mark says it isn’t based on marketing or any kind of strategic country-choosing by them. Facebook has spread solely on people talking about it and telling friends to join too. Why? Because “people have the need to communicate with each other”, precisely the need Zuckerberg and his colleagues discovered and used as the idea on which they based their work.(1)

But this very same idea is part of the controversy that surrounds facebook. In this huge sharing network… where does privacy stay? Well, as Mark told us yesterday, privacy is one of the core matters when developing the network: one should be able to choose what information to share, and exactly with whom. Even as in the beginning this possibility was a little rough, with time, facebook has gained on security and sharing options that are pretty easy to install and change to ones necessities.

Those of us who have been facebook users for some time now, have seen it change and evolute… sometimes according to our taste, and sometimes not as much. But how does the developing circle work? Well, as strange it may sound, it is basically based on feedback from us users. They grow basing most of their decisions on what people tell them, although it has to be supported on interesting numbers and statistics. So, now that you know… if there’s anything you don’t like about facebook, go on and try to make your friends write to Zuckerberg about it! Who knows? Next changes can be based on your ideas.

But this interaction with users doesn’t stop here. In order to be able to offer the same applications and possibilities globally and in all languages, translations to those languages different from English were achieved by the users’ collaboration. Translation to Spain’s Spanish, for example, was done in a couple of weeks thanks to our feedback, translation to French took about a day. So you can see the great importance the give to users’ opinions.<>competition? Sure, before Facebook even existed and once they’re idea was out, other networks have been working over the same ideas (High5, Tuenti in Spain), nevertheless, they haven’t been as successful. What was Zuckerberg opinion on the mater? Easy: SIMPLICITY as a key fact. From the very beginning, these people have tried to achieve a simple tool that guaranteed easy access and functioning for the public, which has granted them a steady growth ever since they landed on the internet. They focus on simplicity as an strategy against competition… seems to me it’s working for them.<>What’s facebook’s policy towards advertising? Basically, they function based on a marketing of engagement. Although there are two main ways in which companies can advertise via their platform: One is kind of self-service. The company/person interested in advertising buys flyers for which they pay that are distributed according to their needs. The second option is directly associated to this engagement I’ve talked about: Facebook offers the brand the possibility to create forums, groups etc. that allow users to interact with the product and give opinions about it, as well as shared it with others. It must be a successful tool since 2/3 of USA’s brands already use it. But this engagement also has to do with the banners that each user sees. Depending on your interests and personal information, you get to see different messages in different languages. Let’s say for example… you’re single. What are the messages that appear on your left?? Exactly: adverts from Meetic and other companies related to meeting new people. This way, you get to advertise your products in a more accurate way and to the perfect target, increasing your advertising efficiency. On the other hand, the public doesn’t feel stalked by the brands and their publicity… a perfect combination.

(1) Nevertheless, it is true that they’re trying to improve their penetration by visiting those countries where the Internet use is below a 10%, hence the visit to our country. As well as this, they’re planning to open offices in different countries so as to have better access to their markets, as well as to be able to give a better support to the local facebook functioning.

I enjoyed the conference very much, as you can see. Gave me a lot to think about (he’s 1 year younger than me, for God’s sake!!), and to wish for...

2 comentarios :

La Opositora dijo...

Increíble!!! He leído tu artículo sibre el creador de Facebook, simplemente decirte que me ha encantado. Qué suerte haber podido ir, la verdad es que me habría encantado acercarme para escuchar que contaba. Ahora con tu explication me hago una idea. Estaba alguien más conocido?? Creo que Stephanie y David iban a ir, no? Les vistes? Ánimo con la semanita que ya queda menos!! Un besazooooo!!!

Agnes dijo...

Me alegro mucho que te haya gustado!!! comentarios así me animan a seguir escribiendo, algo que tenía bastante apartado...podrías haber dejado comentario en el blog :) jajajajaja. Lo voy a copiar allí, que me hace ilusión que alguien lo comente!!!

La verdad es que me encantó... fue impresionante, sobre todo porque me colaron a la primera fila. Estuve con Álvaro y, aunque no estuvieron en la conferencia, vi a Stephi y a David.

Ánimo a ti también.. este finde nos vemos, no? podríamos ir también algún día la musical de Grease, qué te parece? besotes!!!