Senin, 20 Desember 2010

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg..The Hottest Social Networking Platfrom of Internet.. Part-2

Zuckerberg designed Facebook to re-create online what he calls the "social graph" — the web of people's real-world relationships. That was different than most social networks. Sites like MySpace practically encouraged users to create new identities and meet and link to people they barely knew. Zuckerberg didn't care about using the Internet to make new friends. "People already have their friends, acquaintances, and business connections," he explains. "So rather than building new connections, what we are doing is just mapping them out."

To that end, Facebook has always emphasized two qualities that tend to be undervalued online: authenticity and identity. Users are encouraged to post personal information — colleges attended, workplaces, email addresses. Facebook also emphasizes honesty: Because users typically can view profiles only of people they're linked to, and they can't link to them unless both partners confirm the relationship, there's little point in creating a fake identity.
Zuckerberg saw that if he could successfully map the social graph, he'd create a powerful new model of communication — a giant word-of-mouth engine. Imagine if, every time you logged on, you weren't greeted by or even a Google News like aggregator, but a collection of headlines and blog postings, written or handpicked by your closest friends and relatives. Instead of information spreading hub-and-spoke like from major media outlets, it would flow to consumers the way it does at a dinner party, through people they know and trust. The result, Zuckerberg says, is that "it may no longer be optimal to have a few big media companies in the center controlling the flow of information."
When Zuckerberg walked away from Yahoo in July 2006, his grand vision had yet to be realized. He had a network of 7 million students, not an alternative media empire. To transform his company he would have to accomplish three things: First, make it easier for friends to communicate with one another; then extend Facebook's membership to the entire world; and finally, open the site to developers and encourage them to build Facebook applications that would keep people signing up and coming back to the site.
Zuckerberg's first step was almost his last. Previously, Facebook users had to visit one another's pages or send an email to see what they were up to — what features they'd added, announcements they'd posted, new friends they'd linked to. Zuckerberg wanted to streamline that process . His solution: News Feed, a feature that automatically broadcasts users' most important activities to everyone in their networks. Add a friend, post a photo, install a feature — almost anything you did was filtered through Facebook's computers, which then sent bulletins to all of your friends, notifying them every time they logged on to the site.
News Feed was announced on September 5, 2006 — about a month before Zuckerberg turned down Yahoo's second bid — and launched the same day. The freak-out began almost immediately. The new service didn't look like a means of easing communication between friends; it looked like Facebook was manipulating and spreading their information without permission. Hundreds of thousands of Facebook users emailed to protest. A student at the University of Florida organized a boycott, calling it A Day Without Facebook. "The New Facebook is too... well, creepy," wrote Carlos Maycotte in The Cornell Daily Sun. "It just makes too much information visible."
The easiest thing for Zuckerberg to do was simply dismantle News Feed. But he refused. News Feed was not just any feature. It was the infrastructure to undergird the social graph. So, three days after the feature launched, he posted a 485-word open letter to his users, apologizing for the surprise and explaining how they could opt out of News Feed if they wished. The tactic worked; the controversy ended as quickly as it began, with no real impact on user growth.
With the News Feed engine in place, the next step was obvious, if terrifying. So far Zuckerberg had tightly controlled Facebook's user base, opening membership slowly to colleges, high schools, and a few businesses. Now it was time to let anyone in the world join.
The notion was risky. When Facebook opened registration to high school students, the tepid response helped spur talk of a sale. A similar showing would make it even harder for Zuckerberg to keep prospective buyers at bay. But this time, open registration turned out to be a huge success. Adults, many of whom had yet to sign up on a social network, were drawn to Facebook's relatively staid and conservative structure. By January 2007, Facebook's user base had grown to nearly 14 million, up from almost 9 million in September.
Fully engaging those new users proved to be more difficult. They were happy to log on, share photos, and send quick messages, but when they wanted to do something a bit more complicated, like keep track of their eBay auctions, for instance, they had to leave Facebook to do it. Zuckerberg knew the site needed more applications, but he also knew that his development team wouldn't be able to satisfy every whim of his user base. "We said, ‘This is a problem,'" says Dustin Moskovitz, one of Facebook's cofounders. "What people really want is one online identity to do all these different things. What users wanted was the long tail of applications." It was time for Facebook's third, and most audacious, step.

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