For quite some time now, Facebook as been THE social network for college students and college students alone. More recently they expanded to allow corporations access, and as of yesterday, it is now available to everyone. Apparently they weren’t satisfied with their college/corporation only audience.
According to their blog, they say they’re all about helping people understand their world. Catering only to college/ corporations limited a good chunk of the population from gaining access to the network. Many college students that have been using Facebook from the start expressed concern over the change saying that it should remain a network that’s off limits to the general public. Facebook was persistent with their idea to expand, and as expected, they’ve already been receiving the complaints.
We last wrote about Facebook after they incorporated a “news feed” and a “mini news feed” which did not go over well with the community. The overwhelming negative response had them hustling to come up with a solution which turned out to be privacy controls. So today as the announcement was posted on their blog, it appears the solution to the controversy over open registration is again privacy controls. They’ve assured users that their profiles will remain just as “private” as they were prior, and that only people in their networks and confirmed friends will be able to see them.
Facebook seems to think that privacy controls are the answer to every conflict that arises. While there are plenty of people who aren’t happy with this decision, it brings Facebook into closer competition with MySpace, the social network GIANT .
Tonight when I logged into my Facebook account, I found a message letting me know that I can invite all of my friends to use Facebook. They’re doing this by having current users enter in email addresses for friends they’d like to join. Another alternative method they have set up to spread the word is a “Look up” service where they’ll go fetch your address book from Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, or Yahoo. Little to no work required for this option on your part.
It may be too late for Facebook to get everyone in the ball game, especially since MySpace has without a doubt been very successful with expanding their network and catering to the masses. I like to think of Facebook as the Google of social networks – simple, and clean while MySpace appears to be overloaded advertisements. With that said, is there anyone considering making the move and leaving MySpace to join Facebook?