What is the future of Facebook?

Before Facebook, Myspace seemed to suit the needs of leisure social networking while Facebook was more college-oriented with a set of professional clubs/pages. Before the shift of popularity towards Facebook occurred, nobody would have guessed Myspace’s imminent downhill spiral.

Eight years after it’s launch, Facebook houses an online presence that serves over 1 billion people. If it’s “population” keeps expanding, it will outnumber the world’s population. With this quality of number, one has to ask, is its site quality equal to that for its age and population? Many people seem to believe that with its growth, quality has decreased and has driven away many years, if not toning their usage down to a minimum. I say this because I know many people who do want a page on the website in case that sort of communication is necessary but who do not log-on daily as they would have in the past.

Facebook used to boast a very barren landscape when it came to advertising. People would not be bombarded with ads or pop-ups while navigating the site. Of course, the ad revenue became essential and now Facebook ads seem to read our minds. Whatever page we happen to be on or whatever we happen to type in the search bar, there’s an ad telling you they have what you want. Almost a quarter of the page is taken up by ads nowadays. Even Facebook pages themselves push their links onto your homepage and urge you to “like” them. Most people see this as a disruption to whatever communication they are trying to achieve.

The actual profiles themselves are constantly being changed. Adding timelines, adding cover photos and being able to see information since someone’s Day 1 on Facebook are just to name a few. These changes in formats, ads, gaming apps, search functions come often and involuntarily force us to adapt to it. I think people may spend more time learning how to use the new functions than they do talking to people or exploring pages. For me, it drove me away and made me less likely to want to sign-on and navigate the chaos.

Facebook has many faces. Unfortunately, one of those is that of a childish/immature one. Aside from the many corporations who promote themselves on Facebook, anybody of any age can post anything they want. From children to young teens to college students and adults, status updates have become a way to tell your daily story on the Web. Even pets and inanimate objects have their own pages. Much of the information one comes across can be seen as mindless, useless or ineffective.

Just as before, it is hard to predict the future of this popular social networking site. Many people leave and go to a cleaner format such as Twitter. Many people stay and conform to changes to keep up with the people in their lives. In the next few years, I don’t believe the Facebook population will decrease by the millions, but if there is a drastic drop maybe the developers can decide how to clean it up and make it user-friendly again.

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