13 Oct Social media is here to stayMarket Watch. Here it is:
Facebook is no fad
Commentary: Social networking is a basic human need
By Adam L. PenenbergNEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- With Facebook registering its 300 millionth user and investors valuing Twitter at $1 billion, it's time to put to bed the notion that social networking is a fad. It's not. It's our destiny. This is something I've thought a lot about since I began researching my new book, "Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves." It details how many of the iconic companies of our time -- including eBay Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!ebay/quotes/nls/ebay (EBAY 25.18, +0.06, +0.24%) , Facebook, MySpace /quotes/comstock/15*!nws/quotes/nls/nws (NWS 14.22, -0.07, -0.49%) , PayPal, Flickr /quotes/comstock/15*!yhoo/quotes/nls/yhoo (YHOO 16.88, +0.13, +0.78%) and Twitter -- grew from bootstrap startups to billion-dollar empires within a few short years. Their shared formula: a "viral expansion loop," which is accomplished by incorporating viral qualities into the functionality of their products. These companies and many others grew because each new user begat more users. Just by using a product, they spread it. After all, what's the sense of being on Facebook if none of your friends is on Facebook, or using Flickr if you can't share your photos? These viral businesses take advantage of our increased interconnectedness, made possible by more ubiquitous bandwidth and advances in both hardware and software. As the Internet increasingly goes mobile and is gradually released from the desktop, it will offer a far greater, more diffuse surface area for ideas to spread virally.