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Facebook (A): The Start-up’s “Social” Success



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Code : SNW0001

Year :
2007

Industry : Internet and e-commerce

Region : US

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment : Available

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Introduction: Social networking sites are supposedly web outlets for uncensored free-thoughts. Users supply the sites with contents like personal profiles and this helps network with friends and those with shared interests. The initial social networking sites targeted teenagers, but since then have expanded to include the old as well as businesses. Social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Friendster and LinkedIn have all benefited much from such loyal following. Facebook – though it is second to its rival MySpace, in the number of unique visitors – has made recent headlines with its explosive growth. Facebook has transformed itself from being a niche social networking site, popular on college campuses, to a legitimate rival. The site requires users to provide their real names and e-mail addresses for registration, and connects them to current and former friends and colleagues. The start-up has become popular, not because it introduced a breakthrough technology but, because it defined its value proposition clearly and stayed on course of social networking because of superior functionality.

Social networking is not a new concept. The term was coined by JA Barnes of the London School of Economics in his 1954 paper, Class and Committees in a Norwegian Island Parish. “It denotes a map of the relationship between individuals, indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social families ranging from casual acquaintance to close familiar bonds.”2 Social networking sites have moved from a niche activity to mainstream, with user’s web conversations becoming searchable. Besides being used by visitors to share private messages, these sites are of immense value to businesses

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