Once a social networking site used primarily by high school and college students, Facebook is taking on a whole new demographic: media professionals. According to Advertising Age, it’s “not since the advent of blogging four years ago have ad and media types so jumped on a new-media bandwagon for their own communication and networking purposes.”
What used to be an online hangout for about every college student in the country (some of my employees still use it every day) for connecting to friends, sending messages, displaying photos and learning about social events, Facebook isn’t just kid stuff anymore. According to Newsweek, by the end of 2007 less than 30 percent of Facebook users will be college students. Unlike LinkedIn, the more serious online network for business professionals, Facebook offers more variety of context including “groups” of people clustered together based on positions within a company, favorite vacation spots, music, political affiliation, cancer survivors and supporters, etc.
Pete Blackshaw, chief marketing officer at Nielsen Buzzmetrics dubbed Facebook as “a solid platform with sticky appeal.” From Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley, Facebook is gaining some serious traction among the older age groups. Growing at an astounding rate of 3 percent a week, Facebook is bridging the gap between business and social in a fun platform that people just can’t get enough of and are telling all of their friends about. The Facebook experience is built around connecting to people you know. Sure, it can get a little inane – some people offer updates such as “I’m out to lunch” or “I’m in a good mood today.”
More than half of the networking site’s 35 million users are no longer college students. Steve Case, CEO of AOL and an active member of Facebook, says the site has emerged as the “it service and company.” Good point, Steve. See you on Facebook.