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Facebook Turns 5.0

It’s hard to believe, but Facebook is kind of old.

As of this month, at the ripe old age of five, it’s ancient in Web 2.0 terms. But for being a senior citizen of the web, Facebook sure has managed to stay fresh and relevant. What started as a social experiment in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room has grown to capture over 150 million users.

Here are some ways Facebook has managed to grow and adapt so far…

–  its supernatural ability to help you reconnect with old high school buddies, network  professionally (ahem), plan killer bashes, and showcase your wit via status message

– the ever-growing collection of third-party Facebook applications, integration with Twitter, built-in Instant Messaging, blog importation capability, and more

These all allow users to express themselves in a rather addictive way.

Here at the IMA, we utilize Social Networking to reach a more diverse and (presumably) younger audience.  And, like any institution, we are always looking for ways to stay fresh and relevant.

However, TIME ’s tech writer, Lev Grossman makes a humorous argument as to why Facebook is for ‘Old Fogies.’  After all, Facebook’s fastest-growing demographic are those 30+. Could this be the kiss-of-death?

Illustration by John Cuneo for TIME

Illustration by John Cuneo for TIME

Others are predicting Facebook’s demise. Blogger Devin Johnston argues that unless Facebook changes drastically, it will fizzle out in just three years.

Sites like Facebook are doomed unless they radically alter their business and development models to reflect the needs, interests, and capabilities of internet users. There is room for Facebook to move away from providing service and toward assembling the services of others in a single location. Frankly, I think that this is the only way that Facebook will survive the coming revolution in social computing.

That’s a lot to ask of a five year old.

Do YOU think Facebook’s days are numbered? Will it continue to adapt, or be wiped out by something better-faster-stronger?

Filed under: Current Events, Marketing, New Media, Technology

11 Responses to “Facebook Turns 5.0”

  • avatar
    Christopher Says:

    I hope facebook goes away. When my 71 year old mom friend requested me I said enough is enough! Of course I haven’t deleted my profile yet.

  • avatar
    Emily Says:

    Facebooks strength seems to be in its ability to be what the user wants it to be… the best way for anything, museums included, to stay relevant.

  • avatar
    Danny Says:

    Wow. Is facebook really 5 years old? I don’t use facebook much anymore, but it comes in handy when I need to contact large groups of friends.

  • avatar
    Kyle Says:

    I am waiting for this next big site, all the pieces of the puzzle will be together then.

  • avatar
    Kate Says:

    I agree, I really like Devin’s apple basket analogy:

    Think of an apple orchard. In the new social web, micro-services like Twitter are the apples. Sites like FriendFeed are baskets. Each user chooses her own basket, and then fills it with the apples of her choice. Advanced users might even make their own baskets (that is, integrate social networking services via server-side scripting into one’s own website, as I do).

  • avatar
    Steve Says:

    Facebook rocked when the privacy settings were more relaxed.

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  • avatar
    Cristy Says:

    I hope Facebook continues to develop and stay relevant. I love that it has helped connect generations in my family since we are spread all across the U.S. Facebook is much better than waiting for weddings and funerals to interact with geographically distant cousins! Our family now spans age 18-80 on Facebook.

  • avatar
    Terry Says:

    Great article…..pulls a lot of things together that I didn’t know about before….past present future… a short article. Thanks!

  • avatar

    I hope the Facebook fad dies off soon; I’m really really sick of it. I’ve been through high school once. I didn’t like it. I don’t want to do it again. And that’s why I do not, and will never, have a Facebook account.

  • avatar
    Kate Says:

    I agree with you there, but I’ve seen people use it as a tool for business, and rather effectively. Would you ever consider it for that?

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