After Google, Facebook (FB) is one of the greatest inventions in human history; it cemented the foundation of the world wide web (www.); it democratized human connection all over the world; through Facebook, people can not only stay in touch with their loved ones, but also learn about people from all over the world. With its supercomputing data and algorithmic capabilities, Facebook can pinpoint an exact targeting segment of the population with all of its attributes, such as gender, age, income, demographics, preferences, and so on, for use by a company or group. It can even determine which of our friends is likely to share our tastes.
This data-driven strength is the bedrock upon which Facebook is built. This massive quantity of fast data gathering power comes with a lot of responsibility, or better still, it comes with a lot of weakness. People are no longer only interested in staying connected or conducting business on Facebook, but also in joining in movements or even uprisings to reintroduce a topic that was previously prohibited by a government or a country. Facebook’s power is so great that it may inspire a global upheaval like the Arab Spring, a movement like Black Lives Matter (BLM), or even be bought or manipulated in an election by a third-party firm like Cambridge Analytica. It can also be used to propagate hoaxes.
Facebook is not an original invention; Friendster and Myspace were, and sometimes the second invention after the original is the one that makes it better and much more successful by learning from previous generations’ mistakes and also because the market has already gotten a sense of how to use the technology’s environment, making it much more mature and ready than before. This offers Facebook an advantage, and as Malcolm Gladwell wrote in David & Goliath, “Sometimes your greatest opponents aren’t the ones you can see, sometimes they’re the underdogs.” “Being original doesn’t necessitate being first,” he noted in Adam Grant’s Originals. It simply means “to be.”
In the case of Facebook, I believe its most significant competition is Weibo from China, followed by Linkedin from Microsoft, Twitter from the United States, and Tiktok from Bytedance China. People are maturing, and communication is becoming so much faster and more democratized by every new media source out there that people are becoming overwhelmed by having too much data. I believe this is the greatest problem that Facebook faces in the near future. People will return to a desire for privacy in the future, opting to decentralize everything. Millennials are gradually abandoning Facebook and Twitter because it is where their parents spend the majority of their time, and because they have a shorter attention span.
With its ability to pinpoint targeted audiences and customize different segmentation at a very low cost, any small local company can compete with big international brands, and big brands will be able to be more creative with their leftover budgets to touch communities and appeal to their causes, this is capitalism at its best.
Companies that aren’t on Facebook are missing out on a huge opportunity to market themselves, but if they’re ready to try other social media platforms, I believe they can still compete and appeal to younger generations. A corporation can present itself as a limited offer or event by emphasizing exclusivity and rarity. I believe that a firm that is not on Facebook may still do something spectacular by appealing to the fear of missing out (FOMO) that millennials experience.