In my last blog post I discussed the facts of social media. I have to admit that the most impressive statistic is the one billion users on Facebook. While the Facebook Newsroom/Press Release section of their website confirms this number, I have my reservations about this factual information. As an aside, it also makes me think of this movie clip from the Austin Powers series.
Here are two reasons for my billion doubts:
1. Personal Profiles Being used as Businesses
Although Facebook’s policy clearly states that personal profiles are to only be used by individual people, there are many individuals who have set-up their business as a personal profile. When I click “Find Friends” in Facebook, I am bombarded with companies and not people. If you’re a company, it’s guaranteed I will not click +Add Friend.
On this topic, I wanted to highlight a few elements that business may want to consider when developing a presence on Facebook. First, there is less functionality in a personal profile than in a page. Personal profiles are limited to 5,000 “friends” as opposed to unlimited “fans” in a Facebook page. Pages also have access to a greater number of applications that customize a user’s Facebook Page experience.
Second, many users do not want a company to gain access to personal information that is meant exclusively to friends. Businesses are not privy to my personal information and photos.
2. Duplicate Accounts
I work with many individuals who have duplicate accounts. Here are some of their thoughts:
“My daughter set me up with this account, and I made this one.”
“I forgot my password so I made a new one.”
“I made a new profile to see how my other profile looked to ‘outsider.’”
While Mark Zuckerberg claims they have surpassed 1 billion users, I have my reservations. Facebook is currently working on “cleaning-up” fake accounts so as to provide more accurate numbers. I am looking forward to updated statistics soon… even if they are much less than a billion. Remember 500 million active “real” accounts are better than 1 billion fake accounts.