Information Technology/Facebook Site Popularity.
What are the attributes for Facebook application popularity ?
User Friendly software for end users could be the keyword ?
Awaiting your reply,
Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar
Nice to hear from you again. I am curious; what is the reason for your question? I can tell you what I have heard about Facebook over these last few years. Most importantly; User Friendly software is NOT the keyword. Many people complain about the user interface and easily indicate where it goes wrong. The most terrible one is where the owner's sister had her photo made public because of the difficulty to restrict information with privacy settings, as you can read in the article you refer to.
Have you seen the movie "The Social Network"? There you can see how it all started with a smart business idea. With a start in local popularity, some critical mass was achieved that helped bring in investors. More importantly, I think, it is a low threshold system that people can join. I personally joined a few years back because a friend had posted some photo's on it. There were already competitors by that time, but Facebook was international. With English as the primary language, you could connect to friends all over the world. That is what made me stop with the other systems; I only need one network on which I can connect to all my friends.
Next, I think the game system helped a lot. Zynga is now famous for its online games. With their method of people regenerating 'energy' over time, people had to come back to the website. In the mean time, you would see updates from friends or people you follow in a long list. It's like a news site but with information about people you know.
Without any real alternative, the problematic interface and the unpopular privacy settings did not make people move elsewhere. I have heard of "Foursquare" but never registered. One of the reasons is that I do not want to 'leak' more private information to another site. I am on Google but there is not much happening there yet.
I think there is an important parallel with Microsoft; at some point everybody chose to work with an IBM-clone on Windows just because other people had one. It was possible to copy programs and files, and learn form each other. This was also achieved after some 'critical mass'.
I hear people say that Facebook will be over quickly as soon as another competitor steps into the market and does a few things right; respect privacy settings, implement a better user interface, and maybe a few things more. I think this is reflected in the Facebook share value; everybody was enthusiastic about it during the hype and the emission, but the actual value is much less than this inflated value. It might go very fast.