8. Facebook Rules Zeitgeist
According to Facebook's website, more than 80 percent of its 900 million-plus active users reside outside of the United States and Canada. While other companies can boast of a similar global reach, no other company has a similar global network -- because Facebook's users aren't just aware of Facebook, they're also aware of each other.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, couldn't have put it better: "We have over 900 million monthly active users worldwide, giving people the opportunity to spark global conversations about ideas, social movements, products or services. In the United States everyday on Facebook is like the season finale of American Idol, the most popular show on television, times two."
There are many ways Facebook could utilize this global network to its advantage. It could create the world's largest online phone book -- suddenly the idea of a Facebook phone doesn't seem so crazy after all. It could create an online auction site, similar to eBay -- but more connected, and with more "trust," because people could get to know each other better before making purchases. It could also foster political revolutions and social change.
9. Facebook to Rule Mobile?
Facebook has been criticized for not having a clear mobile strategy. Despite the fact that 488 million of Facebook's 901 million monthly active users access the social networking service from a smartphone or tablet, the company has so far been unable to leverage its mobile reach by adding ads to its apps.
That said, it's possible that Facebook's mobile takeover has already begun -- it's just not as direct as we expected it to be. Popular social games, such as Zynga's "With Friends" franchise or OMGPOP's Draw Something use Facebook almost exclusively to connect users, while other non-social games such as Angry Birds still allow users to tap into to Facebook to share their scores with their friends.
Facebook's big mobile move might be years away, but when it does it will have the largest preinstalled user base to tap into when it does.
10. It Affects How We Start and Run Businesses
Every year, millions of Americans will start their own business. And Facebook will undoubtedly play a large role in many of these businesses. Not only will Facebook affect small business owners' marketing and social networking strategies (it's essentially free advertising), but it will also be where much of their customer base resides.
It's not unlikely that Facebook will try to use this power to its advantage. After all, think of how valuable a hand-delivered batch of customers who fit a targeted demographic exactly -- right down to the movies they like and the sodas they drink -- will be to a burgeoning business. What business wouldn't pay for such an advantage?
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