Friday, April 15, 2011

Who Uses facebook and Why?

Since Facebook was founded in 2004, the Social Network Site (SNS) has profoundly altered our lives. Facebook now has over four hundred million active users worldwide, with half of them logging in on a daily basis. With about thirty percent of those users being from the United States, and the US population now about three hundred and eight million people, that means one out of every three Americans—men, women, and children—is a Facebooker.

This figure may not seem that much when compared to the number of people that have access to the Internet in the US. According to the most recent report of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, over two thirds of American adults have Internet access, and many of them also report that they have broadband access at home (65 percent White, 46 percent Black, and 68 percent Hispanic).2 However, there’s a big difference in the diffusion timeframe by which the Internet and Facebook have spread among the American population—it took Facebook barely five years to reach these figures and it’s still growing. Additionally, there might be notable differences depending on certain demographic characteristics. For instance, while 46 percent of blacks have access to broadband Internet, about 44 percent of blacks report that they use Facebook or other SNS.

The fact that Facebook’s got the numbers is not a surprise. Today most of us seem to have a Facebook account or an account at another SNS such as Twitter, MySpace, Hi5, or something similar. And if this isn’t the case, it’s very likely that you at least know someone who actually does have an account on Facebook or the SNS of their choice. But, beyond what these numbers ‘at large’ reveal about Facebook, little is known about the impact that its use may have in people’s daily lives. We also don’t know much about the different ways people utilize SNS. What are users really getting out of these Social Networks? Perhaps they simply intend to remain in contact with their friends and family members. Or SNSs may help them stay better informed about what is going on around the world or in their more local communities. It may also be that SNSs are useful tools to engage in activist causes and get mobilized, as well as mobilize others. In any of these instances, it appears that Facebook could open many doors to newer or stronger social connections that may facilitate important communication tasks, whether they relate to friends, sources of information, or political and civic causes.

According to Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, the site thrives by giving its users the “power to share and make the world more open and connected.” SNSs such as MySpace and Facebook have become one of the most popular Internet services in the world. As of December 2009, Alexa, a company that tracks web traffic, ranked Facebook as the second most often accessed website in the world—behind only Google. Other SNSs are also highly ranked; MySpace and Twitter rank twelfth and fourteenth, respectively.

Other writers will discuss many issues about what Facebook means to us individually and socially. But before that takes place, we intend to provide an accurate picture of Facebook and social network site users. Knowing who the users are, their demographic composition, their motivations and how they engage in performing different activities within a SNS may be interesting by itself, but it also seems appropriate in order to provide a valuable context.

Source of Information : Open Court-Facebook and Philosophy 2010
Who Uses facebook and Why?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Who Uses facebook and Why?"

Post a Comment