Why Facebook works

February 8, 2010

Why is Facebook such a phenomenon? It isn’t because it’s the largest social network, the stickiest place on the Internet and a platform that has transcended the Web to become part of our daily lives.

Facebook is, to date, the best effort by anyone to put real people online.

More than any site that has come before it, Facebook makes it easy for people to connect with other real people, people they know offline. While scams and frauds continue to claim their share of victims on the site, nevertheless most of us know that the people we’re connected with on Facebook are exactly who they say they are.

That’s no small feat for any Web site, and that’s why Facebook now boasts more than 400 million users worldwide. No matter how high that number may climb, Facebook’s challenge has always been — and will always be — to preserve that level of trust in identity. If that dies, so will Facebook.

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2 Responses to “Why Facebook works”

  1. Margie Says:

    Trust! That’s the issue here: forget the scammers, I don’t trust Facebook as far as I can throw it.

    Facebook changes its Terms of Service every six weeks or so, consistently putting the burden of protecting personal information on the user, rather than making it the default option. I’m a fan of the technology. I’m a daily Facebook user, but my trust is something they’ve never had–and likely, will not earn.

  2. Rob Robinson Says:

    Thanks for commenting, Margie. I think Facebook is starting to learn from its mistakes with its terms of service and its redesigns. It’s got to keep listening to its members.

    You’re definitely not alone in not trusting Facebook, though, and just like Google, it’s a little scary to think about how much data and control we are putting in their hands. For now I am willing to trust them, but that trust is conditional.


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