AUG 24, 2018 6:54 AM PDT

Hooked on Facebook? Here's why

 

How many times a day do you check Facebook? Is it fewer than five? Ten? Is it more or less than your email? Do Facebook notifications pop up on your phone? Over two billion users are on Facebook today and it would be an understatement to say that the social media site that wasn't even around fifteen years ago has everyone hooked. Social scientists say that the lure behind the platform is its all-encompassing utility. Use it as an event calendar, photo album, chat system, money transferring app, contacts book, news outlet, and shopping guide! Whatever you want, it's all there, and all in one place.

Facebook relies on what's called the network effect - which means that it is a pretty useless tool when solitary, but once more and more people start using it, it becomes so integral in life that it's almost necessary. Another example of this was telephones - who are you going to call unless someone else has the same technology as you? But the minute everyone started getting telephones, the more and more important - and necessary - it became to have one. After all, your participation isn't just going to be affecting you (#FOMO), but it could even be considered rude to those who interact with you because if you're not "in" then they have to go out of their way to interact with you. Woah, right?

Want to learn more about how Facebook milks this network effect to make profits even though users don't even pay for the platform? Watch the video! 

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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