Can Facebook Keep Up?

Can Facebook Keep Up?
March 13 00:23 2013

Facebook recently unveiled a revamped newsfeed. Will it be enough to attract old users to return and new users to sign up?

With the emergence of “specialized” social networking sites like Twitter and Pinterest, Facebook is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Nearing a decade in existence, Facebook execs are now feeling the effects of “old age,” steadily losing the interest of its young user base. This multibillion dollar enterprise is already showing signs of wear and tear, as users prefer social networks that focus on their specific needs, like video clip playback, photosharing, and microblogging, among others. But it seems that Facebook is not going down without a fight, and with more than a billion users, it can easily change the tide with just a few tweaks and redesigns.

And that’s what they did recently, unveiling a new look for their newsfeed. This streamlined appearance looks optimized for browsing photos, music, and other shared content, much like how every other social networking platform looks like today. By going in this direction, Facebook is trying to win back some of the users that jumped ship when other social networking sites started popping up. Apparently, the Palo Alto-based social network is a bit wary of their position, even with an immense following. Well, we’ve all seen how other networking sites fared when its users began losing interest. MySpace, Multiply, and Friendster all fizzled out of existence when they failed to adapt to the ever-changing social environment. Millions of users could be gone in an instant, that’s why Facebook is not sitting idly by and watch other networks succeed at their own expense.

Behold, Your Personalized Newspaper

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and main innovator, unveiled a revamped newsfeed that will cater to your needs, with focus on shared content like pictures and video clips. He claims that this creates a “personalized newspaper” feel, giving you content that’s visual, rich and engaging, a few things that has drawn users towards sites like Instagram (which Facebook now owns,) Twitter (which now has a video sharing service called Vine,) Pinterest, and Tumblr.  Facebook execs understand that social networking is now moving towards content sharing more than others, and that people barely write lengthy posts about their activities. If they ever feel the need to go text-crazy, they just turn to Twitter and rant in 140 characters or less. Shared content and short blurbs are easy to read and easy to spread, the potential of social networking in this format is truly endless. That’s what Facebook is trying to achieve now, even though they’re a step or two behind the competition.

We’re going mobile (sort of)

At present, you can do lots of things with your handset, like mobile banking, business VoIP calls and online shopping. Social networking is just a click, swipe or tap away, with more and more users preferring to use their phones and tablets to access the Internet, instead of their computers. The convenience and mobility offered by mobile devices is one of the biggest reasons why users preferred other social networks instead of Facebook. Tweeting using a smartphone is quite simple, and posting or “pinning” an image using a tablet is a no-brainer. But try browsing through your Facebook newsfeed on your computer, and you’ll experience a big difference compared with browsing Facebook on your computer. There are Facebook apps for all the mobile operating systems available today, but all of them feels inadequate, and doesn’t really deliver a satisfying Facebook experience.

The revamped newsfeed however, feels optimized for your smartphone or tablet. Images seem to pop up, with a catchy phrase inscribed inside the picture. Other content seemed to flow “naturally” even on smaller screens, encouraging you to scroll down further and consume more information about your friends and all their activity. But is this really enough to attract more users and bring back the old ones? It’s hard to tell, considering the number of competitors Facebook is up against, as well as the bulk of the user base they cater to. We can only see definite results when these changes are made available to all the users.

Monique Jones is an Engineer who deals with phone systems. Monique graduated as a Cum Laude with a Degree in Civil and Communications Engineering. Besides being an Engineer, she also works as a part time Writer. She helps her colleagues and other people about their communication issues, giving effective solutions to address their needs. On her free time, she works on her fashion business, read books, and chat with friends. She also loves traveling and photography.

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