Yesterday I watched the movie The Social Network, the one about the founding of the social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits. I know that this movie is not new, but speaking about movies usually I watch them late. Anyway, I really liked this movie, maybe because I was expecting a boring documentary and instead I watched an exciting drama, or maybe just because I am a nerd and like all movies related to technology.
Facebook today is definitely one of the social networking website that I am using more, but it wasn’t like that three months ago. I have Facebook since 2005, and I kept this system basically to communicate with some friends in US and Europe, about 40 people in total. My main social networking website was Orkut, because in Brazil the most popular one was (or is) it (by the way, it is owned by Google). I can not affirm that it stills the most popular one, but among my friends is definitely not. Nowadays I rarely received one message in Orkut, and basically all my friends now have one account on Facebook. The curious thing is that it happened very fast, between the interval of three mounts. Yeah… the Web is always unpredictable. In this specifically situation there are some facts that could explain this phenomenon. Many people, taking me as an example, kept two accounts in similar systems (which is a waste of time), and in my opinion Facebook offers more interesting features. So many of my friends started to realize that creating a cascade phenomenon of migration to Facebook. I kind of miss using some features of Orkut, let’s wait for Google’s reaction.
Speaking about interesting features of Facebook, I really enjoy the “Like” button. I always thought that it was a brilliant idea. After reading one article about Social indexing (click here to access it), I start to think that this simple button is also very powerful.
“Many sites have tried to personalize what they offer by remembering your past behavior and showing information they presume will be relevant to you. But the social index could be much more powerful because it also mines your friends’ interests and collects information from multiple sites. As a result, the index can give websites a sense of what is likely to interest you even if you’ve never been there before.”
The code of the Like button is available to anyone add it in its website`s pages. If a user is logged in Facebook when it clicks in the Like button, of any page in Web, the link is shared with that person’s Facebook friends. This is a way to people express their interests on the Web. Many important websites use this feature, for instance Wall Street Journal.
Rely also in social networks information may be useful in web search. Google mathematically indexes the Web by scanning the hyperlinks between pages. This means that pages with many links from other sites appear on the top of search results, which is a great mechanism but it is not perfect for every needs. Using your friends’ opinions into account may be very interesting when you are searching for a restaurant, book, a place to stay or visit in a new city, and so on.
Since about 10,000 additional websites connect themselves to Facebook every day, I think soon we will see another interesting feature in Facebook, which will make me stick even more with this service.