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Our Little Facebook is Growing Up, Part I
By: Jeff Louis
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"You've come a long way, baby" would be an apt way to discuss Facebook's evolution. Reminds me of the Virginia Slims my mother smoked. I spent a good portion of Sunday night reading everything I possibly could re: Google and Facebook. My prediction is that these two sites are positioning themselves to take the other out, or at the least, steal market share. Google, my favorite brand of the here and now, in my estimation, would lose the battle. I predict this particular outcome for one reason, and that is that Facebook is further on reconciling search than Google is at making the search engine social. Just a theory, but Google better get moving.

The Facebook story in my head seemed more compelling. Google's story is just as odd and miraculous. Born at UC Berkeley, 11 years, 20K employees, and billions of dollars later, Google's passed the tipping point. The Facebook story seems more, well, far-fetched. 
 
To write, "Facebook experienced tremendous growth" is akin to writing, "The water was very wet." While significant, I'm tired of hearing the word "exponential" paired with "Facebook." The real story, to me, is that from an almost sleazy beginning, FB has evolved into a super-site. 
 
It's hard to fathom that Facebook started as means for computer geeks to check out sorority women at Harvard and "rate" them. It's also ironic that the man responsible for protecting your profile was the same one who hacked his way into sites to steal pictures. It's a wonder that he wasn't expelled for his crimes. Adding some "flava" to the story: Facemash spread like a virus, overtaking Harvard before heading to Boston, the East Coast, and finally, the nation.
 
Although it's been stated directly to Facebook's staff that the idea behind the site was stolen from a UC Berkley site known as Hot or Not, no one's been sent to prison or paid any fines. Facemash left for California when Mark and a roommate quit Harvard and became a venture capitalist's dream. Facemash evolved into Facebook, and Facebook became a behemoth.

 

 

 

Facebook has matured since the ol' Harvard days, Biff. It's become wiser, more professional, and actively works to protect users. It even developed an algorithm that is able to "sniff-out" false accounts run by spammers through evaluation of the user's content, messages, and volume of traffic. If an account is suspected as being false, or hijacked, it's shut down. Although hacked, spammed, and compromised, FB users seem to feel safe as there's been no mass exodus. Members do get upset when the site changes appearance, the newsfeed, and their privacy statement. Not to mention the uproar over Beacon the ad platform.

 

 

END, PART 1

 

 

 


   

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About the Author

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or get in touch with Jeff on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading!

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