Facebook Q & A

What is the impact of Facebook in Social Media?

Facebook was the first feature rich social media application that allowed users with little or no computer experience to interact freely online. Overall, Facebook is responsible for moving the whole sector forward by democratizing the social media experience, as well as, bringing huge financial players to the social game. In 2007, Facebook received $60 million in backing from Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing [1]. Moreover, in 2009, Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel invested tens of millions of dollars in Facebook helping to further drive the social media sector [1]. Although the sector has been around since the 1970’s, Facebook’s entry into the marketplace in 2002, changed the entire social media landscape.

Employers have been known to use Facebook patterns as part the screening process.  What do you think about that?

As long as job-seekers allow money to dictate their choices and the U.S. continues to elect pro-business leaders who fail to regulate this practice at a federal level, employers will use whatever tactics they perceive to be the most profitable. Currently, regulating this practice falls on states who are ill equipped to deal with this type of highly nuanced issue. For instance, how could a state truly enforce an international company engaged in this practice? It would be a major challenge and require staff, auditors, etc… So, until the factors surrounding the screening practice changes, the analysis of Facebook patterns for hiring is here to stay.

How can Facebook Analytics (such as patterns in visualization) be used to facilitate business operation?

There are many metrics that can be pulled from Facebook but one of the most interesting sets is Audience Insights. Facebook’s Audience Insights allow business to look at aggregate and anonymous information from their general Facebook audience, people connected to their page or event and/or people in custom audiences, as defined by the business [2]. Audience Insights empowers users to derive patterns by using metrics, such as, demographics, page likes, location and language, Facebook usage (frequency), purchases activity and past purchase behavior and purchase methods [2].

Facebook Analytical Tool Recommendations

Zapier is a vigorous online social media application for Facebook, boasting integration with RapidMiner, Tableau and a host of other mining and visualization software. It drops in by way of a connection node in RapidMiner and allows users to analyze any important metrics that they wish to look at. There is some coding involved and minor programming, however, the results are worth the effort.The Zapier site went down half way though my vetting, however, it did look promising.

In addition to Zapier, Tableau has a wonderful set of workbooks all set up for social media analysis on their site that can be used with Facebook to visualize meaningful insights. Using Tableau itself, as the brand, here is a look at the various dashboards loading in my local version of Tableau.

What do you see in the future of Facebook?

“Facebook kicked off its push into VR with its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that VR will be the next major tech platform that brings people together.” [3]

The only problem is they have no idea how to use VR (virtual reality) or what to use VR for.

With their purchase of Oculus, Facebook announced to the world they were heading in the direction of social media apps for VR. This is a new era of social media and to be frank there is much question, as to if Facebook is up to the task. This is evidenced by the fact that Facebook seemingly does not know what type of apps to build, or how to leverage the new technology and teams they have acquired. Social Media and immersive online worlds and the challenges that go with creating them, are not new to companies who have backgrounds in video game design and specifically Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), but Facebook it is practically a whole new industry.

Furthering the competitive landscape, companies like Linden Labs, creator of the popular virtual world, Second Life, have been a favorite of large corporations for years. Linden Labs has been building VR social media worlds for 18 years, while Facebook has only taken up interest in the last few years. Linden Labs has its own cryptocurrency and has even worked out issues, such as, creating a virtual and real world economy that are linked and function as a like a stock exchange.

BONUS: INTERESTING INSIGHTS TO CHECK OUT

Wolfram Alpha has an amazing page of stats for social media that are interactive and fun to play with. One of the most interesting is “Friend Ages for People of different ages” [4]. This interactive chart shows the range of ages that correspond with the user’s connections, depending on the users age. It was interesting to note that older users often had connections of all ages, while younger users tended to be connected with people closer to their own age. The page has many examples, so rather that ruining the surprise – check it out here: http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2013/04/data-science-of-the-facebook-world/

Wolfram Alpha also has a awesome tool for analyzying your personal Facebook Page here: http://www.wolframalpha.com/facebook/

REFERENCES

[3] Heath, A. (2017, April 25). I tried Facebook in virtual reality and I’m not sure what the point was. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-spaces-vr-app-shows-pitfalls-of-virtual-reality-oculus-rift-2017-4

[2]. Learn More About the People that Matter to Your Business with Facebook Audience Insights. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2017, from https://www.facebook.com/business/news/audience-insights

[1]. Staff, D. T. (2016, May 12). The history of social networking. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from https://www.digitaltrends.com/features/the-history-of-social-networking/

[4]. Stephen Wolfram. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2017, from http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2013/04/data-science-of-the-facebook-world/

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