Facebook Growing Exponentially

This news is a few days old, but I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.  Word came out this week that Facebook is growing by an estimated 600,000 or more users PER DAY.  Let me repeat that, because it’s hard to get your head around…

Facebook … is growing … by 600,000 or more users … per … day.

(crickets chirping)

There’s no way to really comprehend that type of growth.  Think about it … that’s like everyone in a small to medium-sized city signing up each day!  In all, Facebook has 140 million users.

If we didn’t have it before, this is proof positive that social media and social networking has reached the mainstream.  Facebook started out as being for college students only.  You had to have a college email address just to sign up.  Once they lifted that restriction, “old” people like me started to flock to the site as a way to keep in touch with friends, share pictures, and play games.  It truly is like a class reunion every day over there.

So, what does this mean for PR people and businesses hoping to promote themselves in this social media landscape?  Obviously, it means you need to have a presence (either a page or a group) on Facebook, and that advertising there is becoming more and more attractive.  Facebook has been known for some time as a very inexpensive site to place ad, and right now it’s probably the best social media site on which to advertisde.  Of its primary competitors for eyeballs, MySpace is so 2007 and Twitter doesn’t have advertising … yet.

Another way to take advantage of Facebook’s growing mass of people is by building applications for the site.  These are simple programs that provide fun or information for users.  They add them to their account, and when they do it’s broadcast out to all of their “friends” … essentially advertising the existance of the application.

PR professionals need to understand how to use these new tools.  It’s no secret that using the media to “get the word out” isn’t the only, or even the best, way to help our clients anymore.

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