When you first started using Facebook you were excited to have access to a tool which helped communicate with present and long lost friends. Facebook makes it convenient for people to communicate with each other, streaming environment unlike the email. The tool does only inform you of other people’s lives unlike Twitter the broadcasting tool of all news.
I did a dissertation related to ‘Diffusion of Innovations’ for my final year at the University of Sunderland, business and product selected to test and explain the theory was Apple’s iPod’s. Now every product or service goes through this process and it is similar to the product life cycle.
The ‘Diffusion of Innovations’ however is different because it involves the rate of the social system at adopting an innovation. For example with Apple’s iPod it was the loyal brand consumers and technology enthusiasts who were the innovators, early adopters were influenced by the exclusive product that the innovators carried around. Early adopters helped the product be a success by influencing others such as the early majority. The ‘rate of adoption’ can be slow or fast and every innovation is unique in that way, cooperation’s that have had previous success may see a fast ‘rate of adoption’ in the social system.
Everett Rogers popularised the theory in his book back in 1962 ‘Diffusion of Innovations’ and the 2010 edition is available now.
Back to the main topic, Facebook went through exactly the same process except it had no brand followers and it were ‘geeks’ and friends of the owner who were the innovators in the ‘rate of adoption’ model. As time went by it was adopted in the social system by the younger generation at first and then the older generation who are known as the late majority for now. Now from that Facebook changed and your experience changed as a user because it was not exclusive. Below is a list of the ‘type of people’ you may have on your Facebook account, parents and older relatives for example would not be on that list in 2007.
In order of importance to a majority on Facebook:
- Intimate Relationship
- Mutual Friend
- Online Friend
- Just a Facebook Number
Another blog post in the future will explain in detail the various types of ‘Facebook Friends’ that are listed above.