What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

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#1 EarthShaker  Icon User is offline

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What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:52 AM

Well I've been thinking, How did facebook grow world wide while other social networks lost most of their popularity.

I mean, if you think about it, Social networks have been around for at least 5-8 years.. from Yahoo 360 to Orkut, mySpace, friendster, hi5, tagged etc.. So the concept of social network wasn't really something new.

But how did facebook grab so much attention to itself? Most of the social networks did/do provide the similar functionality of facebook but they lost their market pretty much once facebook went viral.

Is it the design of facebook or was facebook just lucky enough to hit the internet so hard?
What do you think had/has the most impact in making facebook so popular?

Lets discuss!

This post has been edited by EarthShaker: 20 March 2011 - 04:57 AM


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Replies To: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

#2 Lightme  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:33 AM

Goverment influence, company influence in making smarthpgones directly connectedable too fb? I just think next to goverment money influence it also had a nice script that was good too manupulate with other scripts the API that is.
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#3 crazycat503  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:08 PM

No, its really a powerful website. It is really flawless when i think about it, except the privacy things that it constantly updates. Its not a matter of luck at all.
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#4 EarthShaker  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:55 PM

Powerful in which area specifically?
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#5 marinus  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:56 PM

I don't know why actually , it gain most popularity with internet users in 2005 . IMO its not so good because its written in PHP . What a pain to work with that.


http://ezinearticles...ular&id=1089087
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#6 Lightme  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:18 PM

View Postcrazycat503, on 20 March 2011 - 02:08 PM, said:

No, its really a powerful website. It is really flawless when i think about it, except the privacy things that it constantly updates. Its not a matter of luck at all.


Its not just luck or powerfull, it got a good written api for 3rd parties too intergrate it got a nice system for advertisements and evry major internet company when it is phone, software or hardware already have there commercials ready for "does it work on facebook?". Look the iPhone by Apple didnīt they start with making it posible too communicate it with facebook? Directly, they didnīt do that with tagged, hi5, hyves, myspace, friendster, etc...

Plus a nice connection network when launcing it a high rated university what you imagine?
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#7 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:23 PM

View Postmarinus, on 20 March 2011 - 10:56 PM, said:

IMO its not so good because its written in PHP . What a pain to work with that.

How so?
In my own experience, PHP is one of the least painful languages I've worked with.

And how does your dislike of PHP make Facebook any less "good"? It's not like you are developing the site, are you? :)

Facebook even managed to get rid of PHP's biggest weakness -- the fact that it's interpreted -- by writing their own PHP compiler. Boosted the performance by like 50%, if I remember correctly.
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#8 TMKCodes  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:26 PM

Facebook became so popular because of the tactics how they spread it.
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#9 marinus  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:35 PM

@Atli

Bad OOP ,Not event driven like Sharp, Scripting language PFFT!! less functional than ASP.net(C#),!variables out of scope. The list just goes on and on ;).

IMO PHP is nice , but i don't really fancy it.

Its really about you own preferences.

This post has been edited by marinus: 20 March 2011 - 03:40 PM

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#10 EarthShaker  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:43 PM

@marinus

I don't think it really matters to the end-users that which programming/scripting language is/was used to create facebook.
or does it? :unsure:
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#11 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:37 PM

*
POPULAR

@marinus

Lets examine that, shall we? :)

Bad OOP
Define "bad".
Sure, PHP 4 had a rather weak OOP system, but since the overhaul in PHP 5, and even more so now with PHP 5.3, the OOP system in PHP can hardly be described as "bad". - Perhaps not 100% up there with Java, C++ or .NET, but it's gaining fast :)

And, which I consider a HUGE upside for PHP: the OOP is optional. Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, OOP is not suited for all situations. Not all systems, like .NET or Java, even give you the option to avoid it.

Not event driven like Sharp
And how is this bad for web-development?
PHP was specifically developed for the stateless nature of the web, where event driven thinking only really gets in the way. Listening for events makes little sense when the whole of the program is executed in a matter of milliseconds, in the background where the user isn't even aware of it. -- If for some reason you still feel the need to use events, creating an event model isn't exactly a challenge.

I remember the first awkward stages of the .NET framework, where ASP.NET tried (poorly) to imitate even-driven desktop apps. Now THAT was painful!
Fortunately .NET has matured some since then. :)

(I only wish Microsoft stopped hijacking abbreviations :P)

Scripting language PFFT!!
Yes. What's your point?

less functional than ASP.net(C#)
How so? PHP has just about endless amounts of web-development specific functions and classes. There are few things you will ever need that aren't either included or readily available for PHP.

Except for some Microsoft specific things, which isn't really PHP's fault, but more the fact that PHP typically runs on Linux, and most Microsoft stuff requires Windows to work. (But in case you run PHP on Windows even those things aren't hard to achieve.)

variables out of scope.
PHP is a loosely typed language, with a very flexible way of handling data. I'd count that as a positive, but I can certainly see why people used to strongly typed languages would find that odd.

I'd put this down as a purely subjective thing.
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#12 MaverickDavidian  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:21 PM

View PostEarthShaker, on 20 March 2011 - 04:52 AM, said:

Well I've been thinking, How did facebook grow world wide while other social networks lost most of their popularity.

I mean, if you think about it, Social networks have been around for at least 5-8 years.. from Yahoo 360 to Orkut, mySpace, friendster, hi5, tagged etc.. So the concept of social network wasn't really something new.

But how did facebook grab so much attention to itself? Most of the social networks did/do provide the similar functionality of facebook but they lost their market pretty much once facebook went viral.

Is it the design of facebook or was facebook just lucky enough to hit the internet so hard?
What do you think had/has the most impact in making facebook so popular?

Lets discuss!


Bringing it back to the top...

My observation has always been that Facebook struck the right balance in terms of what control users had and did not have over the Facebook environment. With MySpace (arguably the most relevant competitor and comparison), users had a lot of freedom to edit their profile pages with whatever garish HTML and performance-hogging scripts they liked. As a result, MS (hehe, never noticed that...) turned into this internet ghetto/wasteland. Facebook, on the other hand, lets users do what they need to do to communicate with their friends but not much else; no format changes, no auto-play music spam, not even an animated gif! I strongly believe that it is this uniformity, accessibility, and reliability that allowed Facebook not only to skyrocket but also to maintain its place at the top.
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#13 EarthShaker  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 20 March 2011 - 07:29 PM

You have some good points there Maverick.. Thanks!
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#14 jakobt  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 21 March 2011 - 10:21 AM

Facebook became so popular because it was catered to university students. Initially you had to own a .edu email address in order to make an account. This provided a sense of security to a lot of students as well as the exclusiveness of having a student only means of communicating. It was only after facebook had become enormously popular worldwide in university communities - mainly as a means of meeting girls/guys - it was opened up to everyone.

Consider how hard it is to meet new people and remember all their names if you've just moved to a brand new place with no connections. Then imagine having a way to put names to faces and find out information about the people you have just met in order to help you pick your social circles. Pure genius if you ask me.
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#15 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: What did facebook have that other sites didn't?

Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:15 PM

View PostLightme, on 20 March 2011 - 05:18 PM, said:

Look the iPhone by Apple didnīt they start with making it posible too communicate it with facebook? Directly, they didnīt do that with tagged, hi5, hyves, myspace, friendster, etc...

Plus a nice connection network when launcing it a high rated university what you imagine?


They also made it possible to communicate with MySpace. MySpace has their own iPod/iPhone app as well.
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