As of today, Facebook has 300 million participants and is "cash flow positive," according to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In a blog post Tuesday afternoon, the 25-year-old Zuckerberg said that although 300 million is "a large number," the company is "just getting started on our goal of connecting everyone." Those 300 …
It's the people, not the software...
...that keeps me using facebook. It is a great tool for communicating with friends, when it works, which seems to be less and less often these days.
The clunky interface and horrible layout don't do much for me, but it had achieved critical mass with my group of friends, so I'm stuck with it by default. And their attempts to become more like Twitter are also annoying me. If I wanted to be a twat, I'd use twatter
Shome mishtake shurely...staunches!
What a wonderfully high standard of comments.
It does what it is supposed to do and does it adequately
Literally it does what it was meant to, maybe not smoothly but it's more than adequate for keeping in contact with friends. When you have family and friends around the world it makes a nice message board where everyone can intermingle that you know and network with each other.
Without facebook I would have never found a good friend that I had lost touch with over 20 years ago. It lets me keep in touch with family on the other side of the world from me and even find a couple of new friends.
For all of that it certainly allows me to be more forgiving of the flaws in their site.
Same here, the 'evolving to Twitter' is extremely annoying, and if we didn't have family abroad to keep in contact with, I would have dumped the site ages ago.
The interface problems you talk about are indeed making the user experience a misery at best. Settings and options are never where you would expect them, and purposefully hidden so people wouldn't bother protecting their privacy - just because it is such a pain and very time consuming.
But, it is true though - 'achieving critical mass' has happened and FB is now sort of the Microsoft of social networking. We don't like 'em, but we now 'have' to use them. And, just like Windows, we don't really, but we fool ourselves into thinking we do.
Even if something much better comes along, critical mass is going to make it very difficult to switch over, unless you can convince your contacts to do the same.
300 millionth user?
Do you think they tried to give the 300,000,000th user a prize, but he didn't click on the big red flashing box ("Congratulations, you are the300,000,000th user, Click here to claim your prize!") and therefore didn't get it?
300 million members
And still none of the quoted participants could manage a grammatical and correctly spelled sentence. Do we really need the pointless witterings of these illiterati?
What I would love is this FB lite that they're touting for low bandwidth users. Never used an App in my life and have no intention of doing so, so it'd be nice to use Facey for what it was originally intended for and keep up with my friends rather than respond to people sending me Hugs, swift shoeings and the other tat that I have no interest in. TBH, I use the app on the iPhone more now as that's much cleaner...
But how many...
...people are like me. I signed up, to check that the wife hadn't revealed every personal detail to the world (yup by default she had) and then never used it. Thenthe wife got bored of the mindless drivel and stopped using it after a month.
As we never deleted our accounts, do we count towards this figure?
Still don't get it
There's no way they can connect everyone because I have absolutely no interest in these social networking sites. Call me old fashioned but I like meeting friends in person.
sort this this out
Quite funny the other day... MSN had issues.. they all went to Facebook so Facebook chat started having issues.. then the facebook site had issues.
Twitter survived the MSN breakage, though.
Also noticed how Facebook have added twitter functionality - typing @ and the persons name to "tag" them in your posts... zzz
Alas, facebook creeps up on us all...
It's like the mobile phone back in the early 90's - you resisted the urge to look like a dick, but eventually, had to bow to peer pressure and get yourself a lump of plastic which effectively meant you could no longer avoid being contacted.
With facebook, your Mom signs up, or your brother, sends you a link from Facebook to go look at some photos of thier holiday, the only way to view it - sign up.
Or your mate thinks he knows more about music that you, scoring 80% in some crappy facebook quiz, you know for a fact your better and feel the urge to prove it - so you sign up.
Etc. etc. ad nauseum...
@ JB: Actually, no, it's not Staunches...
Stanch: –verb (used with object) 1. to stop the flow of (a liquid, esp. blood). 2. to stop the flow of blood or other liquid from (a wound, leak, etc.). 3. Archaic. to check, allay, or extinguish. –verb (used without object) 4. to stop flowing, as blood; be stanched.
Staunch: –adjective, -er, -est. 1. firm or steadfast in principle, adherence, loyalty, etc., as a person: a staunch Republican; a staunch friend. 2. characterized by firmness, steadfastness, or loyalty: He delivered a staunch defense of the government. 3. strong; substantial: a staunch little hut in the woods. 4. impervious to water or other liquids; watertight: a staunch vessel.
re: Neil Barnes
"And still none of the quoted participants could manage a grammatical and correctly spelled sentence. Do we really need the pointless witterings of these illiterati?"
The key word in that sentence was "quoted". Would you consider 5 or so people cherrypicked for comic effect to be a reasonable, representative sample of a group consisting of 300,000,000 people?
Re: Alas, facebook creeps up on us all...
Speak for yourself. I still don't use a mobile phone.
They are about to lose me. I signed up a year ago out of curiosity and because everyone seemed to raise an eyebrow in disbelief when I said I'm not on it. I have most of my real life friends on my facebook friend list as well, but I don't really use FB to send messages, I still call them, meet up or send an e-mail to those not nearby. However, I do have a few randoms on my friend list I never met. Some of them seem to be quite nice, but there doesn't seem to be an interest to meet face to face. I probably won't bother much longer, there is no real value in it and it doesn't make life easier. Unless you would miss the convenience of just leaving a meaningless apology on someone's wall for not showing up at a dinner party as promised. That's actually easier than telling someone on the phone or in person and keep it believable.
On another subject: The comment quality on the Zuckerberg blog is really excellent. Almost as good as on good old El Reg. But we're better party poopers ;)
What Matt 89 said
Exactly right. I resisted it myself for ages, but however much I like meeting my chums in meatspace (matespace?), there's no getting round the fact that many of them are a 2 hour drive or 10-hour flight away.
So it is a handy little thing, at its core, if you ignore the crapplets and the latest addictive craze (which I believe is a farming game at the moment).
Anyway, if I want erudite prose and witticisms I can always pop over to El Reg's comments page - right?
Of course not - but external evidence suggests that it's a representative sample.
To be fair, I have absolutely no interest in ever joining a 'social networking' site of any description.
and in a couple of weeks ....
... the 300 millionth user will become the 299 millionth dormant account. It's not the number of people who sign up that's important, it's the number who decide it's not a complete and utter waste of their time and intellect. Those who stay active: they count. That's where the revenue will come from.
You owe my work a new keyboard and 2 screens, glad I'm not the only one.
It seems facebook as just turned into a site where youngsters can browse for their next fuck and talk to their friends. I call it facefuck. Fitting methinks.
Having looked at the BBC article it made me think "Why doesn't the register look at other countries social networking sites??" With Mixi and the Korean ones being fore runners in how to make money out of their user base. Also being useful and not full of stupid shit (like sheep and ducks ffs >.>)
"so I'm stuck with it by default"
Sad, sad , sad.
I ain't never gunna go down THAT track, so sireeee!
"Facebook acquires 300 millionth user"
Surely the headline should have read:
"Facebook acquires 300 millionth loser"
Now, that, makes sense.
Re: "Facebook acquires 300 millionth user"
Yeah, Winkypop, but aren't you kind of glad you've got something to use as evidence that you are better than 300 million other people?
Anyone know how you actually delete you're account - I could only 'disable' it when I tried to escape the thoroughly shallow and depressing world of facebook.
That reminds me, I never managed to get around to buying my domain: "www.cumonmyfacebook.com". Darn it.
Feel free to purchase on my behalf, I'll sign up.
Sounds like Mr. Zuckerberg needs his own Moderatrix - perhaps it's time for Ms. Bee to find her equivalent of the PFY?
When I joined facebook, back in the original growth surge, I thought the best thing about it was going to be the Events application. Unfortunately most people didn't bother to use it for organising get-to-gethers with mates and so it kind of fizzled out, and now it's been dumbed-down to the point that it is unuseable. Shame really as I think that facebook would be better if it had more of that sort of thing not less.
And obviously almost all of the third-party apps are massively annoying... presumably facebook only allows them to contine because they raise revenue somehow?
Facebook ain't vital.
I still wonder why some people claim that FB has turned into something you need for communication.
Messaging? I have MSN/Live Messenger for that.
Social networking? MSN Spaces, hi5 and Tagged seem to cover like 80% of those in my contact list; and most of the rest are people I don't even talk to anymore.
Pics? Again, those who matter upload their stuff on hi5 or MSN Spaces; the latter has more pics as it is easier to bulk upload pics there.
I'm honestly surprised that FB is actually turning into a positive cashflow. I also expect it to be pure BS as well.
tried it, hated it
Probably the world's most boring website.