Facebook took the social media by storm. Between 2008 and 2013, Facebook saw a whopping growth of 1130% – when its user base rose from 100 Million to 1230 Million*. But in the recent months (or probably years), there is quite an agitation that portrays Facebook as non-productive ** and further accentuated by a shift to Quora. This post is a discussion on this topic.
Why people came to Facebook?
Facebook was a perfect blend of simple technology, nice user interface, fast growing user base and popularity- all that were needed to make social connections. Their nice mobile app for all major platforms led to further growth. Facebook Pages exposed a new angle of Product and Service marketing, in an otherwise social platform. Overall, it was a perfect place for everyone to connect, express their thoughts and get praised by others in public.
Why are people losing interest in Facebook?
I am not talking about the majority. There is a still a big group of people who enjoy their time in Facebook and see a lot of value.
But there is a small subset who are frustrated by the ever-growing spam of useless information and the noise levels in Facebook (See Signal to Noise ratio). Though they cannot completely dump Facebook because of their personal connections over there, they are limiting their time and looking for alternatives. That’s when Quora came in.
Why this small subset love Quora?
In my opinion, there is a similarity among the members of this small subset.
Presence of Knowledge and quest for useful information, that can further improve their knowledge
And, they chose Quora because it is perfect for everything they want to do. Here are some examples:
- They love being called Experts. Unless one is an absolute Genius, people don’t know about their expertise unless they talk. And Quora is a perfect place to combine talk with sense
- They love giving Advice
- They love to believe they are productive on the Internet. I don’t mean to say that browsing through Quora can make someone productive. Even Quora has its own S-N ratio (which is much lower than Facebook in my opinion), but by choosing the right topics and right people – one can make their Quora time productive
- They love to help people and get help. They are people with good Karma
- They love a place with less spam and more useful content. And Quora (right now) is just that
Facebook is big today and will continue this way for a while. But I seriously doubt if they can maintain the same growth rate in the next 5 years. People will continue to use Facebook because:
- Otherwise they lose track of big things in the lives of their social circle
- It is good fun to freak out sometimes and be happy about it (like drinking for example)
- It is still a very big marketplace and they can hardly avoid it when it comes to marketing themselves (or their content)
But, more and more people will stop limiting their time on Facebook and move on to networks like Quora which capitalizes on the Knowledge factor.
By the way, feel free to read my answers and connect with me on Quora
Facebook made history. It took the social media landscape by storm. But due to high noise levels and less productive information, people are already moving to knowledge based networks like Quora. And, I expect this trend to continue in the next few years.
* Source of Facebook growth rate – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Facebook_growth
** Campaign to quit Facebook – http://99daysoffreedom.com/