The notion of living engulfed by something else is seen all around us, almost like other dimensions. For example, Facebook is its own planet inside of the World Wide Web (remember back when everyone called it that?!). It’s a new planet that’s redefining the internet under its own terms. Facebook has taken on the characteristics of its own dimension while withholding the same characteristics provided by the web.
Don’t believe it? Let’s break down these 5 major components:
- Communication – Similar to using an instant messenger or email service, Facebook allows you to contact friends through messages, chats, wall posts, texts, and as of recent, email. Facebook has streamlined these sources of communications into a “social inbox” creating a more organized way or receiving all of your messages from whichever medium you choose.
- Searching – Just like using a search engine, by typing in the name of a person, brand, or product in the Facebook search bar, you can narrow your results down by pages, groups, applications, web results, etc. As a result, Search Engine Optimization becomes just as important of a role on social media sites as it is on public search engines.
- Shopping – Shopping online may be replacing shopping in store, but is Facebook becoming its own marketplace within the online community? Companies can run contests, offer Facebook credits, special discounts, and utilize Facebook places to get customers to “check-in” at the physical store locations. Paypal has also teamed up with Facebook to encourage purchasing right from brand profile pages.
- Gaming – You can browse thousands of games on the web, but within Facebook lies the current king of all gaming, Zynga Games. Farmville has been named Zynga’s most popular game to date. This interactive and quite simple game allows users to escape from reality by creating their own virtual world.
- Multi-media – Facebook has partnered up with a variety of businesses enabling users to watch TV (Hulu) and movies (Netflix), and listen to music (Spotify) in a social setting.
However, let’s not get too carried away. There is one significant difference between these two dimensions. The World Wide Web is open to the public, anyone can use it without having to login, and although your history can be tracked, the user is not technically specified. Whereas in order to access Facebook, you must sign up and sign in.
Although you can do many of the same activities as noted above on the World Wide Web, Facebook is still essentially a private community and cannot be accessed without creating an account. But, it is a private community of 800 million users! Thought a public, free-for-all internet was what people wanted? On the contrary, the idea of a more focused and personalized user experience as exemplified by Facebook seems to be what truly resonates with the masses.
Looking at it from a business perspective, is your company multi-dimensional in the digital world?
With millions of people around the world logging into Facebook, the components of this social media site are giving the internet as a whole a run for its money making it that much more important for your brand to be visible in both dimensions. Is your company showing up on both the internet and the Facebook dimension?