Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook 365: The Takeover Continues

by / Oct. 7, 2015 5am EST

Currently, about half the world’s population is connected to the Internet. Of that number, over 70 percent are connected to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s creation currently has more than 1.44 billion active users every month. According to Business Insider, the average user spends more than 20 minutes per day on Facebook. This number doubles to 40 minutes per day domestically. Though Facebook has been around for over a decade, it continues to dominate its competitors by finding ways to offer similar, if not the same products along with their original Facebook commodities.

One reason Facebook has been able to stay relevant and lead the pack is its willingness to change; the social media juggernaut encourages a dynamic environment that can sometimes be overwhelming for its consumers. In 2010-2011 Facebook changed its privacy eight times. Eight times in two years left many users saying they “can’t keep up with the number of changes.” Most of these changes came with no warning, leaving users wondering what would happen next. In contrast, Twitter has been producing a similar product since it was originally founded in 2006.

At a time when an Internet-based company is under the microscope 24/7 by millions of people, it is important to give them a reason to return. While changing too often can be a problem, it appears that it is an easier problem to deal with, and yields more benefits, than not changing at all. 

That is why it came as no surprise when Facebook announced in January that it was launching a new feature intended to facilitate workplace communication.  This program was designed to be direct competition for products like Slack and Yammer. Facebook is hoping to beat out its competitors based on brand recognition. 

More than 100 companies were involved in the beta-testing, including big names like Heineken. Now, nine months after the announcement, Facebook is preparing to launch the feature. ( predicts it will launch by the end of 2015.) This is not the first time Facebook has gone after an already existing product, made it their own, and then beat out the competition. Facebook is also far from the only company to practice this technique. Google, Apple, and Android are all examples of companies in recent years attempting to replicate the success of others in their own product. There is an old saying that “good artists copy; great artists steal.” Good companies practice techniques that have worked for others, while great companies perfect the techniques so no one remembers who originally created the products. 

In order to stay on top for as long as Facebook has, a company has to adapt and remain interesting to its consumers. Producing the same, or a similar product for years on end may find some success but will eventually run its course. By taking risks, and constantly researching what else is out there, Facebook has been able to remain the flagship of social media for over a decade. There is no guarantee that every change a person, or a company, makes will lead to success. However, in the words of Confucius, “only the wisest and the stupidest of men never change.” 

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