In addition to offering stock to employees and others who were interested, Facebook’s public trading debut has been the precursor to many changes for the company. Originally, Facebook was perceived less as a business entity and more of what we truly think of as a social network – a place for people to connect as the bottom line. Going public has obviously changed that image. Mark Zuckerberg might not have planned to own one of the biggest business success stories of the twentieth century, but he absolutely does.
Facebook is now up to approximately 1.1 billion active users and has a staff of 5,000 in its California headquarters. As a personal user, there have been many surface changes made as well.
I’ll explore a few of the changes:
More Blatant Advertising
In the past, advertising on Facebook has been a very minor annoyance, if any. Ads appeared on the right side of your screen if you were using the traditional site to browse. In the mobile app, there was virtually no advertising. This has changed with the advent of sponsored posts. Sponsored posts as well as “suggested likes” are now appearing even in the mobile version of Facebook. While it is understandable that the company has to generate revenue like any other, this change hasn’t been well received by everyone.
This is the newly re-named search function in Facebook. Now through Facebook Graph Search, instead of typing in someone’s name and searching for them, there are many other ways to find people who are interested in similar things, or any number of other correlations. For example, you can now search “friends of John Smith who like canoeing” and people meeting the said criteria will show up. Interesting, but some feel as though their already somewhat precarious privacy is being invaded by the new search.
Facebook Home for Mobile
– Facebook Home is new software that you can download to your smartphone to put Facebook front and center. Some companies are also now selling phones with Facebook Home pre-installed. The software makes it so that Facebook is essentially always open on your phone. It also gives you the ability to post directly to Facebook from several other apps.
Overall, Facebook has made quite a few changes in its first year as a publicly traded company. Some have gone over well with its users and some have not. Facebook and its staff need to continue to carefully consider any changes that they make in order to keep their massive and loyal user base.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.