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Raising FaceBook

Date Added: November 13, 2007 01:23:33 AM

According to the Spring 2007 Student Monitor Computing & The Internet study, 53% or 3.2 million students (49% of men and 56% of women) visited Facebook at least once during the past month, making it the third most popular site after Google and Yahoo. According to Internet measurement service comScore Media Metrix, Facebook registered over 5.5 billion page views during the month of February making it the 7th most heavily trafficked site on the Internet. Among college students specifically, the growth in site visits (and page views) to Facebook has been nothing short of phenomenal. Last year, 16% of college students reported visiting Facebook compared to 53% this year, an increase of over 230%. Meanwhile, the other social networking powerhouse, MySpace, is also extremely popular among students. Thirty-two percent or some 2 million students report visiting MySpace at least once in the past month.
The leading social networking sites are an increasingly popular form of communication among college students because of the tools offered by each site including photo posting, messaging, blogs and friend lists which gel perfectly with the digital lifestyle habits of today’s college students. Facebook adds an additional element of exclusivity for college students since a user needs to have an “.edu” email address to register.
So how did Facebook get so popular so quickly? The answer is simple: connectivity. Imagine this: You and I are good friends and attend the same high school in northern California. At graduation, you decide to go to the University of Colorado at Boulder and I plan to attend Princeton University in New Jersey. Through our cell phones and through email we remain in close contact. One day a new friend at Princeton tells me about this site where I can register to keep in touch with the new friends I’m making at Princeton as well as my high school friends who are attending other colleges around the country. In a very short period of time, not only I am using Facebook’s networking capabilities to keep in touch with you at Colorado, but I am also communicating with several of your new friends at Colorado and you are doing the exact same thing with my new friends at Princeton. Now, multiply that scenario by six million. It is that simple, Facebook and other leading social networking sites like MySpace succeed by offering exactly what college students desire.
Facebook offers marketers a targeted platform to reach college students. By only allowing college students  an opportunity to register, the audience is already more targeted than other social networking sites liked MySpace or Tagged. What’s more, the fact that is somewhat more controlled than the more open, uncensored MySpace environment offers marketers an additional level of comfort, especially given some of the recent stories in the media highlighting privacy and security issues of the popular social networking sites.
With nearly 50 million users around the world, Facebook is growing at a faster rate than rival social-networking websites such as MySpace and Bebo.

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