If someone asks you, “What’s Facebook?” what would be your reaction be?

For most of us, we would react with a dumbfounded look as if he/she is from another planet. In this century, the “Facebook” became a buzzword synonymous with the new way of social interaction.

Anyway, what’s Facebook?

Facebook, a social networking service and website, provides diverse services to its users. Users can upload photos/videos, write notes, and send/receive messages to share information with their friends. Facebook was launched in February 2004, and it has become dominant on the Internet since that time. It now has more than 600 million active users worldwide and the number of users keeps increasing.

According to Lou Kerner, the vice president of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities, it has become harder and harder to detach our Internet life from social networking websites.  This phenomenon has led many other websites, such as Google, Yelp and Yahoo, to provide social networking services to make their original services more interesting and useful to attract more people. Among the tremendous number of social networking websites, Facebook has taken the #1 place on the Internet in the past few years, and Kerner calls Facebook “the second Internet.” It is mostly because Facebook became a virtual passport on the Internet, as it allows its users to integrate Facebook with many other preferred websites easily. For example, a user of Facebook does not need to fill out his/her personal information again when he/she joins most other websites, as long as the other websites have an integrate data system with Facebook.  As a result, many Internet users now spend almost equal time on Facebook as the amount of time spent on Google and other major websites to search, share and transmit information and ideas + their personal life.

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Can you measure how much time you have spent on Facebook for past few years since you joined Facebook? I checked it through an application on Facebook, and it says I’ve spent more than 300 hours on Facebook since I joined the website on late 2009. It may not a reliable data, but we obviously see so many people constantly check Facebook pages with a smartphone, laptop and/or tablet everywhere, and it shows Facebook became influential to user’s life pattern.  Lou Kerner, the vice President Equity Research at Wedbush Securities covering the Social Media and E-Commerce sectors who came to my another class as a guest speaker, said that it has become harder and harder to detach our internet life from social network websites as both major and minor websites, such as Google, Yelp, and Groupon, are jumping into the social networking service business to make their original services more interesting and useful. As Facebook has taken the place of #1 social networking website in the most part of the world past few years, Kerner calls Facebook as “the second Internet,” based on the result from a survey that shows tremendous number of users now spend their time on Facebook, which is almost equal amount of time on Google and other major websites to search and share information, thoughts and ideas + their personal life.

Facebook became a passport to access other websites to integrate all information into one’s personal Facebook page. A Facebook user, for instance, can use his/her Facebook account to join other websites without filling Read the rest of this entry »