BusinessInnovationMAR 19 EDITION

FACEBOOK : 15 YEARS AFTER

By: Kanayo Offiong & Khadijai Abdulkareem

The Presidency of Donald Trump has been dogged by a litany of controversies from the onset. The main cloud hovering over the White House is all about the allegations of collusion with Russian agents to compromise the 2016 elections which brought Trump to power. As the Robert Muller independent probe into possible meddling in America’s democratic process by foreign interest unfolds, many people remain oblivious of the fact that Russians agent have been accused of illegally obtaining the personal information of American voters from their Facebook accounts and allegedly used same to compromise the outcome of the American Presidential elections. This suspected hacking of the data belonging to a social media giant such as Facebook underscores some of the frailties associated with online communication.

The power and importance of the social media in today’s world as a great tool for communication and engagement has become extremely invaluable. Its emergence has created an avenue for facilitating information and has proven to be a vital tool for daily social interaction. The social media has evolved into a massive platform where people can share memories; reconnect with friends, plan events and offer business ideas instantaneously. Some online communication channels aiding communication are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, however facebook has grown tremendously in the midst of other platforms.

This social network created in the confines of a Harvard dorm room fifteen years ago is setting the pace globally in social networking service today. The American online social media and social networking service launched as FaceMash, an online service which allowed users to rate people’s attractiveness in July 2003 was later changed to ‘The Facebook’ This name is reported to have been taken from the paper distributed to freshmen, profiling students and staff of Harvard University and within 24 hours it was reported that 1,200 students had signed up and after a month the statistics was multiplied.

Facebook Co-Founder: Mark Elliot Zukerberg

Mark Elliot Zukerberg was born on the 14th of May, 1984 to Edward and Karen Zukerberg. His father ran a dental practice and his mother, a psychiatrist, a profession she dropped due to the birth of her four children. Zukerberg developed an interest in computers at an early age; when he was about 12, he used Atari BASICto create a messaging program he named “Zucknet”. His father used the program to communicate in his dental office and at home. Mark Zukerberg got married to Priscilla Chan, an American pediatrician; in 2012 .She is a graduate of Harvard University and received her medical degree from the University of Carlifonia, San Francisco. She is the first college graduate in her family. They had their first daughter Maxima Chan Zuckerberg in 2015 and a second daughter in 2017. Priscilla Chan tries to keep her life as private as possible. The network “facebook.com” in August 2005 after the address was purchased for $200,000.

In September 2006, the network was expanded beyond educational institution to anyone with a registered e-mail address and has continued to develop since then. To maintain one of the core principles of giving people a voice and also to build the best communication platform for sharing photos with family and friends. Mark Zukerberg bought over Instagram in 2017 for the sum of $lbn, Whatsapp in 2014 for $19b and 77 other companies for a total sum of $16bn. Zuckerberg has a net worth of $57.8 billion according to Forbes magazine.s

Benefits of Facebook for Business

Increased Marketing Activities for businesses

The Facebook page has many potential for businesses and this has provided numerous business avenues Marketing activities that cost thousands of dollars through other channels can be used on Facebook for a fraction of the cost. This makes it ideal for small and medium businesses because of the limited marketing budget. The Facebook page is also used to publicize business name, address and contact details, with brief description of products and services and to also ‘talk’ to existing and potential customers by posting and receiving messages.

Sharing / Tagging Pictures and Videos

One powerful tool for communication is pictures and videos. Facebook allows users to upload pictures and videos of businesses. This can be a powerful way to communicate with customers and potential customers, allowing them to see products or service at the comfort of their homes. Facebook also allows users to ‘tag’ photos. This function is used to promote your business.

Facilitates Feedback Mechanism

After-sales questions are posted on Facebook wall to elicit responses from buyers. Also, business profile can be increased on Facebook by encouraging existing and potential customers to click the ‘Like’ button on the Facebook page which helps to build awareness of businesses and brands.

Facilitating Communication & Building Relationships

Facebook was built to bring people closer together and build relationships. One of the ways this is achieved is by connecting people to family and friends. Today Facebook feedback mechanisms (reaction to comment, number of post shared, e.t.c have helped to facilitate friendship .However, while social media facilitates friendship, it also makes it easier for predators to find victims. Recently, Russia-hacked content reached as many as 126 million Americans on Facebook during and after the 2016 presidential election; this is believed to have reached a much bigger audience by users sharing, liking and following the post.

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