Most people forget that Facebook was once a challenger brand, and that social networking was dominated by a company called MySpace. That dominance lasted right up until the moment Rupert Murdoch paid $US580 million for it.
Then the combination of Mark Zuckerberg’s genius and News Corp’s hubris brought it low. A decade later, despite the emergence of services like Snapchat, Tumblr and Pinterest, Facebook has maintained its place in the sun — and almost certainly secured its spot for tomorrow with its purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp.
Research by GlobalWebIndex (GWI) affirms our continuing love affair with Zuckerberg’s Curse. It’s no longer the first flush of romance — we certainly still seem committed to the long-term relationship. Around the world last month (excluding China), 81 per cent of us clicked a Like button, and a comfortable majority of us commented on a friend’s photo or video, read an article or commented on a friend’s status.
And, despite the ongoing commentary (and some initial uncertainty after the WhatsApp deal), messaging remains a core part of the Facebook experience. According to GWI, “Drawing on data from our brand-new Facebook Profile Report and Facebook Users infographic, our midweek chart shows that messaging a friend on a one-to-one basis is the second most popular behaviour on the social network. Some 59 per cent of active users are currently doing this, indicating just how much potential there is to migrate these individuals across to Messenger.”
The site also notes that “an impressive 56 per cent of the service’s active users are visiting the site multiple times a day. That figure is considerably higher than the equivalent on any other social network, and suggests that a dedicated messaging interface that allows people to communicate away from the distractions of other Facebook features will find a ready and willing audience.”