The lost potential of Facebook

This graph shows the incredible accelerating growth of Facebook relative to the other social networks.

Back in March 2008 My Space was ahead of Facebook and Twitter was but a blip on the horizon. Since then Facebook has sprinted ahead of the pack. Myspace has dwindled to obscurity and is about to be outstripped by Twitter. The others, with the exception of Linkedin have dwindled or stagnated.

The performance of Linkedin warrants a mention. Their numbers have steadily grown and they remain leaders in their niche – professional networking.

I take 2 things from this. Firstly the massive advantage Facebook enjoys over Twitter. Twitter has a loyal following amongst a growing group (which includes me) but is nowhere close to the mass following of Facebook.

Secondly if Facebook were only configured so we could find interesting things on there more easily and reach out to people more effectively it would be a very powerful medium for engagement and community participation. The problem is you can’t so it isn’t… yet.

That doesn’t mean Facebook is not useful in this regard – as a way to let people know about engagement processes, Crispin has written about ways to use Facebook in community engagement and its limitations. That post is well worth a read. The fact is the number of people using Facebook means it has enormous latent potential.

My thanks to Business Insider from where I sourced this chart.

Photo Credits: ecatoncheires

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