BusinessWeek had an article entitled Fogeys Flock to Facebook essentially talking about how the over 35 crowd is gravitating to Facebook , instead of the “more buttoned-up” LinkedIn. This crowd makes up 41% of the visitors to Facebook.
I have both a LinkedIn account and a Facebook account. I’ll admit I was somewhat enamored with LinkedIn when I first started using it, but in comparison with the “action” on Facebook, LinkedIn is a pretty dry and sterile environment. I have very few reasons to spend time on the site unless I get a new LinkedIn request. On the other hand, Facebook contains a flourish of activity letting people express themselves, post pictures, post movies, attach applications, update status and what you have is a real and active community. My oldest son invited me in a few months ago after we had a conversation about social networking. [See my post: Social Networks – New Ways To Communicate] While I don’t have the hundreds of friends on Facebook that he has, I have enjoyed the interaction and am compelled to return over and over again to the site to keep up with my network.
One of the most interesting and compelling parts of Facebook has to do with the applications you can download and attach. These span the gambit beyond anything you might imagine from music and video applications to applications that let you play Texas Hold ‘em interactively with people in your network and a whole bunch of quiz type apps that are fun to answer and look at the answers of others in your network. The apps are viral in nature in that they let you invite others to download them. Yet another reason to return to your Facebook.
I just recently convinced my wife to join Facebook so she could read my daughter’s daily posts from her Summer in London. She’s participating in a Study Abroad program and has delighted us with her log of events, people and places.
Facebook has something really special that is affecting how people communicate. I don’t see where having it open to everyone will hurt the fun environment created for and by the college students. I’m just happy to be included.