Facebook, till recently school-only social networking service,has opened its gates for all. As per Facebook blog now anyone with an email address can join. Still the college networks will need authentication. Others can join various regional and company networks.
Michael Arrington at TechCrunch hails it as a good move;
“….It’s interesting because Facebook clearly gets the idea of an attention metastream, where page views aren’t the currency that matters but rather how effectively the service allows users to communicate. Facebook users will now have a much easier way of staying up to date on what their friends are up to. It may mean less page views for Facebook in the short run as users rarely have to leave their home/admin page to see what’s going on with friends, but if it makes users love Facebook more (is that possible?), it’ll pay off in the end.”
The idea of launching feeds intended to provide better features to users. The current move (open to all) looks driven by a desire to compete against MySpace. Facebook also wants to justify the 1-billion valuations by attracting more users.
This will surely increase user base; but the response from existing users needs to be seen. Till recently they (students) were using a service which was meant exclusively for them.
Check out what the source (Mark Zuckerberg) has to say on current developments.
Looks like Facebook is on an announcements spree. Soon after the above updates came; Mediaweek reported that Facebook is planning to show sponsored ads in the user feeds. TechCrunch provided an update on this.
Facebook recently chose Microsoft as its advertising partner. It will be interesting to observe how far its monetization efforts will go, when its primary audience are young adults who, as Guy Kawasaki writes, dislike all sorts on online advertising.