In just 10 years, Facebook has gone from a site intended for college students to a service with 1.23 billion users and hundreds of millions of people who visit it every day. Now, social networks are popping up on a consistent basis and some of them, like Twitter and Google+, pose a greater threat to Facebook than ever before.
Now that it has become such a major part of our lives, it is hard to imagine that Facebook was not around 10 years ago. While there were social network prior to Facebook, it was the first one to change the way that people of all ages connect with their friends and family. Throughout the past decade, Facebook has become a tool for revolutions and it has brought aboard the majority of people with Internet access
As of 2012, there were only 2.4 billion people in the world who had access to the Internet. Taking this into account, it is not possible for Facebook to continue growing at the same rate as it used to and in that respect, a recent study put out by Princeton University researchers may be correct. In a paper, the researchers suggested that Facebook would lose 80 percent of its users by 2017 and they came to this conclusion by using the same models as those meant for the spread of viruses.
The researchers argued that with fewer people for Facebook to "infect" it will become harder for the social network to increase its total amount of users. There are countless errors in the paper, many of which have been pointed out since it was published, but the idea that Facebook's growth will slow down does appear to be true.
We asked Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst, for his opinion on Facebook and its future. He told us that it is difficult to predict what will happen in the coming years but that partnerships and adaptations will be crucial for Facebook's survival.
"If Facebook is going to be a long-term player, they must change or partner," Kagan said. "They must change with the market and be a very different company every few years and still be attractive to users."
Importance Of Mobile
In every key market around the world, smartphone usage has been steadily increasing at the same time as desktop usage has decreased. For the past few years, this has posed a problem for Facebook. Although it is still struggling to find the best monetization strategy, a large portion of its revenue is now coming from tablets and smartphones.
In 2012, the majority of its revenue was still coming from desktop ads but that changed during 2013. When Facebook reported on its financials last month, it announced that 53 percent of the network's $2.34 billion Q4 revenue came from mobile devices. This improvement not only shows that mobile is crucial to Facebook's success but that mobile optimization can lead to significant increases in revenue.