First impressions play a very big role in attracting people to other people. The same can be said for businesses. The bigger the impact they have on an individual, the longer the person will use their services. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter are all businesses who are carving out a niche among the population to gain users to their websites. This can be seen right at first when we entire their landing pages.
Facebook concentrates on connecting and sharing information with people across the world. This is illustrated by the picture on their landing page. It shows a sign-up form right on the page to ensure a quick and easy sign up for potential users to start connecting with their friends and family right away. The layout of the website also suggests the social aspect that the site advertises. When you log in the first thing we see is the social feed. It tells you all that your friends have posted, be it statuses, pictures, the games they have played, the articles they have read and the songs they have listened to. It allows you to comment and keep in touch with your friends. I think it is because of the constant stream of data from your group of friends that Facebook was a hit. It is because it offers all the frills and fancies of being extremely connected with your group that made Facebook a household name in the social networking sphere.
LinkedIn on the other hand shows the picture of a potential employer, it also gives the user the tagline “Be Great at What You Do”. This gives the potential user the impression that this site aims to act as a launching pad for your future goals. The picture forms an impression in the users mind that this site will enable them to network with possible future employers. The niche that LinkedIn is creating with this social networking site is that they want to engage young people who are ready to set foot in the working world and employers who are looking for new recruits for their companies. The site itself is laid out in such a fashion, where each profile is basically a resume for people to look at. You also have articles from companies and high power employers talking about what they seek for in a new recruit. There is also a job database which users can look through to find jobs that are suited for them. The landing page does a great job of conveying all the different target populations the company is going for, which is what makes it a success.
MySpace was what everyone at one point would have been on before Facebook came along. As suggested by their landing page, they have cornered the market on music. Music was how they allowed their users to connect to one another. It also allows various artists to publish their new songs on this site and allows the user to comment on them. It is because MySpace only allowed a one-dimensional way of allowing users to connect with one another that lead to their downfall. It didn’t allow for an in depth connect like Facebook and users who weren’t into music felt alienated from the “networking” aspect of the site. People have slowly trickled away from MySpace choosing sites like Facebook, Friendster or Google+ which allows them to feel a greater sense of connection with their peers.
Finally, we look at Twitter. Twitter is perhaps the biggest rage among people at this moment. Their landing page says it all, “Find out what’s happening right now, with the people and the organizations that you care about.” They have completely taken over the web sphere with updating what you are doing right at this moment in less than 140 characters. Short, succinct thoughts about your daily comings and goings which can then be tweeted and retweeted. It has opened a gateway for companies to launch new products. Companies have realized that being connected to their consumers is the way to market in this new era of social networking sites. Companies often tweet about their products, the projects they are involved in and even the jobs they have vacancies for! Twitter has also allowed for the world to be the press. Gone are the days when it was only the news agency that was allowed to report the happenings around the world. Now anyone that is in any place can immediately snap a picture and update their tweet to reflect what is happening around the world!
Social Networking sites have created a new way for people all around the world to connect. It has unleashed a way to be creative and allowed for greater freedom from what was considered traditional. The world is really evolving with the use of social networking sites and moving further into this age of technology. But one begs to ask, what will be the impact 10 years down the line, with all the web foot prints we leave and all the personal information floating around about us on the web.