This has been an amazing year for Facebook and the platform. The site has grown from just under 40 million active users at the beginning of the year and possibly more than 150 million by the end of the year. 375 percent growth isn’t too bad and to add to that, the site is now the largest global social network. I’ve take a look at all of the articles I’ve written over the past year. Those which were big news and those which have received the most traffic. Between traffic and news worthiness I’ve come up with the top 10 Facebook stories for 2008, ordered by date:
At SXSW this year, Mark Zuckerberg sat down with Sarah Lacy for what can now be considered an infamous interview. Some proclaimed that it was a disaster, I believe I called it a “fiasco”. Whether or not the interview was a good one, Sarah Lacy is now a much more recognized name among the web crowd. While I’m not sure that Mark Zuckerberg will return to SXSW this year, I’m positive that this was easily one of the most buzzed about news stories of the year. I also got a chance to check out her much publicized book after the incident and it was a great read. All in all I would say it was a pretty decent year for the reporter. Mark Zuckerberg also hasn’t had such a bad year since the SXSW interview.
In May Facebook shut down one of the most popular applications on the platform, Human Pets. The reason was that users were uploading pornographic pictures and the application developer didn’t have the resources to monitor all of the photos being uploaded by the users. Rather than solving the problem, Patrick Shyu, the developer of Human Pets, decided to launch a standalone site which continues to be highly active.
In May I received an email from an individual who noticed a strange feature in Facebook’s search tool. By clicking the down arrow on your keyboard twice, 5 relevant people showed up in your search box. Some people speculated that it was the top 5 people that had viewed your profile multiple times. Others speculated that it was people who’s profile you had been viewing regularly. Whatever the rationale behind the feature was, Facebook removed the feature within hours. The Facebook stalking continues now but it takes place without us being aware of who’s doing it.
When Facebook released their platform last year, they didn’t anticipate how big it would be. Hundreds of thousands of developers flocked to the site, many of which took advantage of the viral channels available on Facebook. Many of those channels became saturated and user profiles began to become clogged with unused profile boxed. The end result was that Facebook decided to completely changed their design.
Some applications have thrived while others have died which brings me to the next article.
In August I reported about the million dollar Facebook application. At the time I wouldn’t reveal who it was but since then there has been a lot of information to come out about which application it is. Eric Eldon at Venture Beat suggested that it was Mob Wars. Matt McAllister of Offerpal (who’s also a sponsor of this site), said that more than one of their developers were making over $1 million a month. The point was to validate that there are real businesses that have been launched on the Facebook platform.
At the end of August Facebook released a live feed feature for their news feed. At the time I proclaimed it the “Twitter & FriendFeed” killer. Apparently that didn’t happen so Facebook attempted to acquire Twitter but that deal fell through. It looks like Facebook is going to need to come up with a new strategy to deal with the Twitter problem but given Facebook’s ongoing growth I think there’s plenty of room for everybody to peacefully coexist.
By the end of October Scott Rafer of Lookery declared the Facebook Platform dead. One of Scott’s presentation references was my article about Facebook widgets being dead. Ironically the widget I was referencing, the Bush Countdown Clock, surged in popularity following the Obama election but the point was still made. Many applications suffered greatly following the platform and Scott Rafer highlighted that.
Facebook Connect Launches
Just two weeks ago Facebook Connect launched. Since then more than 100 sites have launched support for the service and new site launches are continuing to launch on a daily basis. Right now it is still too early to see what the impact is but by the end of next year we’ll most definitely have a good feel for what the future of Facebook Connects holds. Will the service demolish OpenID? Does Google Friend Connect have a shot at competing despite their lack of social graph data? For now it’s too early to tell but this will most definitely be one of the primary things we watch over the next 12 months.
Top 10 icon from Space.com