Social Networking has been the in thing for quite a while now and everyone of us has been a part of it. Connecting virtually to friends and family members far in a distant land or even in the next room has been the most famous part of social networking. It’s been quite some time and some great social networking sites have come and gone. If you look at yourself, you must have had your existence in quite a number of social networking sites even 2 years back. But the one thing that we need to see is that the average life span of these sites have been 4-5 years. Be it MySpace or Hi5 or Orkut or any other social networks they have lost their share of market to a significant number since the emergance of Facebook. While these websites had millions of users even before FaceBook started, the users right now with them and FaceBook tell you the story.
The one thing that made the difference between the two is that Facebook thought a step ahead. With a few set of features made by the developers of the site, The site is sure to loose it’s user base after a certain duration since they will have nothing new to do, and since there will be nothing new, people will eventually get bored of the same stuff and there will be another social media site with a new feature standing right infron of them. But what really puts facebook apart of the rest is that it allows it’s users to create apps (applications) of their own, and with over 500 Million users and thousands of them developing Facebook apps of their own, the fun never stops there. For example you can play games created by others, choose status, read news, blogs, and so many other features. And this is why I feel there is lesser chance of Facebook being out of business any time soon. With so thousands of apps and users being able to play social games, shop online, stay connected, and so many other features Facebook has made a mark for itself.
What Developers should learn from this?
Well we as developers we should not underestimate the power of our users, though our product may not need apps and the features we have developed is the only features we want our users to use, there are some regions where we can take reasonable thought and make it more user friendly. The more user friendly the site is the more engaged users will be and that would mean more returning clients. So everytime you develop a website keep your targeted web users in mind and create a better site that gets them engaging.