New social media sites are sprouting up all the time.
Although you only use a few of these sites, some sources report that there are over 500 social media platforms on the Internet. The sheer amount of sites can make us wonder — how do the giants like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest stay in top?
While some of a social media site’s success can be attributed to luck, there are definitely other factors at play in these sites’ traffic and influence.
Here are 5 key reasons why Facebook has stayed on top of the social media world for so long.
1. It Started to Go Viral
For a social media site to be successful, people have to love during their first encounter.
If they’re crazy about it, they’ll not only use it themselves, but will also gush about it to their friends. They’ll love it too, and soon news of the site will spread like wildfire.
That’s exactly what happened with Facebook, and with other social media sites that have achieved a modest amount of success.
People loved Facebook so much that they pleaded with founders to let them have accounts (remember: Facebook was originally just for college students).
2. It Expanded
Facebook certainly couldn’t do everything it does now from the outset. The original Facebook didn’t have chat, cover photos, or pages you could “like” — and that’s just naming a few. Facebook’s ability — and willingness — to do more and more for its users is one of the main reasons Facebook stays at the top. Can you imagine an oil company, or any business for that matter, would have any real use for the original Facebook?
3. It Streamlined Social Media
As it continued to add new features, Facebook started to look more and more like the site where you could do everything at once. Five or so years ago, AOL Instant Messenger was still a popular way to chat with friends — that is, until Facebook added its chat feature. With its private messages and events feature, Facebook to some extent can even take the place of e-mail and calendars.
4. It Tackled the Competition
A few years ago, I remember when the world was buzzing with the news of a new site called Google+. The new social media site could do things Facebook could not, and many of my friends thought it would usurp Facebook with its full version. That never really happened, though, because Facebook learned from Google+ and allowed users to better customize their privacy settings and interactions with different circles of friends.
5. It Continues to Adapt
Facebook continually makes an effort to be the best site it can be. It’s constantly changing, even if it’s something as simple as a layout change or the way comments are displayed.
It’s true that the changes Facebook makes may not always be popular with users. I can’t think of very many people that liked timeline — at least not when it was introduced. However, Facebook understands that stasis is death in the world of social media. It’s either change and adapt, or go the way of MySpace.