If Content Isn’t On Facebook, Does it Even Exist (For You)?

March 16th, 2010 |


VP/Digital Account Director at The Martin Agency. Advertising geek, web addict, social media fanatic, and insomniac blogger. Read more from Eric at Pixel Maverick.

The implications of that question might be a little bold today, but not by much.

Think about your normal everyday habits online for a few minutes.

In case you haven’t noticed, your online behavior has changed drastically in just the last couple of years.  How much of your news and information online do you have to GO TO to consume, and how much of your news and information COMES TO YOU?

Facebook, Ploked, Is Facebook the New Internet?

(...Yes, you ARE very lazy.)

Now think about Facebook’s role in facilitating that “bring it to me” behavior.  How much of all that content being served up to you has Facebook’s fingerprints all over it (…on Facebook.com, on your mobile device, via an aggregation tool like TweetDeck)?

Now that we have established your semi-sad dependence on Mark Zuckerberg, what are some of the things supporting the argument that Facebook is becoming the new Internet?

What does Facebook dominate?

1) Scale

Unless you live in a cave, you are probably aware that Facebook is freaking enormous.

  • More than 400 Million active users
  • More than 50% active users log in every day
  • The average user spends almost one hour per day on FB
  • The average user has 130 friends
  • More than 3 Million Pages (company, brand, etc.)
  • 70% of active users are from outside the United States
  • More than 100 Million active users access FB via mobile devices

2) Platform

Facebook can definitely play the role of destination site if you like it that way, but its real power is as a platform.

  • More than 500,000 active applications
  • More than 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect
  • More than 70 languages are supported and over 300,000 users help translate
  • More than 60 Million users engage with Facebook Connect on external websites per month

3) Relevance

Facebook offers a degree of relevancy to YOUR content that is hard to match. Ask yourself this question – what is more important to you?

Information that is streamed to you without a filter other than keywords?


Information that is streamed to you that you know is already pre-filtered by what you have chosen to receive along with  information that is shared from within your personal network?

This is about your personal preferences and trust.  Hands down the pre-filtered content will win your loyalty over the long term every time.  Facebook, 1 – Rest of the Internet, 0.

4) Laziness

We already established that you are a lazy person, but hey, perk up there webslack because apparently everyone else is, too. Go look at the stats above to feel better about yourself.

What does Facebook NOT dominate?

To be more specific, what activities or needs do you still have to rely on other providers/platforms for?  What points support the flipside of this argument that Facebook is not becoming the Internet?

1) Commerce Transactions

Facebook has become an undisputed major force throughout the sales funnel (awareness, research, etc.) due to the same preference and trust attributes mentioned above, but it is not the preferred platform for completing the actual transaction.  There are commerce transactions that occur on Facebook, but for the most part, all significant eCommerce transactions occur outside of the grasp of Facebook.  Rest of the Internet, 1 – Facebook 0 …for now.

2) Search

Real time search is great, but Twitter has Facebook’s number on that for now.  At the end of the day, both Facebook and Twitter are no match for Google.  When it comes to looking for a information about a particular topic in the vast sea of content available, there is no better solution than Google.

Google, Ploked, Pixel Maverick, Is Facebook the New Internet?

3) Sex

As open and free as Facebook is (…haters, insert the focus of your rage here), it does still control the content that is made available for consumption via its channels.  Facebook reserves the right to not allow content it deems questionable to be published on the site.  So, for now, you will still have to drag your lazy virtual self outside of the Facebook bubble and over to AssThumpers.com or ImaNeoNaziIdiot.com to get your freak or severe stupidity on.

Agree or Disagree?

I definitely do not consider myself a supreme expert on this subject, nor do I think that the points made are completely air-tight.  There are big holes in the details, but I feel that the general direction of the argument is sound.

If you disagree with me, call me out on my errors and explain where I went wrong.  If you agree with me, say so and drop your knowledge into the holes I left.

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Eric Williamson