Albert Qian
December 31, 2014

Facebook’s Year…. Again

Curatti Social Media Recap #1

We’ve finally arrived at the final day of 2014, rapidly approaching the New Year celebrations. 2014 has been yet another banner year for social media, digital marketing, and the era of curation as the companies surrounding the trend make waves. In a 10 article series, we have been counting down the events of the year and looking at how each of these events presents a key and critical takeaway for what matters in marketing, and more. Today we look at the top event of the year, which seems to be everything Facebook is doing — again.

I remember the first time I logged into Facebook. For me, it was my senior year of high school when I was finally given an invite since they had finally expanded to the high school crowd. I poked around, uploaded a profile picture, and said hello to some friends that were also on the network.

The day? October 14, 2005. Facebook had barely been around for a year and a half.

Every year I do a social media recap, Facebook seems to be at the top of the list, and understandably so. The company, founded by Harvard dropout and entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, is always up to big things and has dramatically changed the way we as humans interact. People do everything on the social network, from finding love to managing their business(es) to seeking employment and getting into pointless political debates. It’s redefined the way we look at our relationships, examine the science of friendship, and reconnect with people from the past, whether we want to or not.

In 2014, Facebook made another huge splash into the social media world. In an earlier post in this series, we examined Facebook as a media company with their acquisition of Whatsapp and Oculus and how it made the company look more like Google post-search. In this post, we’ll take a look at how exactly Facebook mattered, outside of those two events, and why what Facebook did again this year mattered, and why it will matter for the future:

  • Facebook’s Privacy Game: In July while most people were enjoying their summer, Facebook decided to roll out a feature facebook_privacy_comic_brian_farringtonthat meant end users would have to download the Messenger app separately in order to talk to their friends. Users were furious. While Facebook has never been very good at privacy in the first place, the action sparked a debate over texting and Facebook messaging on Robert Scoble’s wall. In the end Facebook was victorious, and the debate over their privacy continues. Our guess is that this won’t ever end.
  • Facebook for Business Becomes a Paid Endeavor: Many of us remember a day when creating a Facebook page was all that anyone ever really needed to do in order to get visibility for a business. Those days are gone as organic reach plummeted to their lowest levels this year. More and more, business owners are having to become reliant on advertising as a vehicle for getting the views they need in order to succeed online. The business owner’s latest beef? Facebook will now start penalizing pages who are overly promotional in the content they post.
  • The Conquering of Mobile: A few years ago everyone was questioning Facebook and their strategy to make money. Amazingly back then, they had no strategy to begin with and were coming off of a botched IPO that left many wondering if the company would be around in several years. The fear however, was unwarranted because Facebook has figured it out, and boy are they great. In the third quarter of 2014, the social networking company reported $3.2 billion in total ad revenue with mobile being 66% of that total haul. Not bad, huh?
  • Abandoning Bing: Finally, Facebook dropped Bing, the Microsoft search engine in favor for its own internally created product. Microsoft was one of their earliest partners and while this may not be surprising to a lot of people, also signals that the company is growing up and wanting to do things on its own.

facebook roomsIn between all of this, Facebook found itself part of the greater national conversation. From the Ebola scare to voting in the US election, Facebook sought ways to involve itself in the greater conversation as well. With new apps for Groups as well, people now have more things to do on Facebook, even with advertising and the experience being costly.

The Curatti Takeaway

There’s no doubt that Facebook will probably make this list next year and the year after. The company is on its way to greater profits and cornering the market — even though it hasn’t even expanded into China yet (Did you see Mark Zuckerberg speaking Chinese?) and probably will at some point. As a business owner, the increased features and greater difficulty should point to a more integrated marketing strategy which is what we will discuss in future posts.

In the meantime we’d also like to know, how has Facebook affected you this year?


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