What is Facebook?

Katherine, 01 March 2009,
Categories: Computers and Software
Tags: ,

woman working on laptopIf you are ever on the internet, you have most likely heard of Facebook. Usually it is spoken in the same breath as Myspace.  But what is it, and why would you want to join?  That was my question, until last weekend. 

To me, Facebook was just another social networking site – something I didn’t have time for. After all, my Myspace hasn’t been updated in ages.  But with the encouragement of a co-worker, I signed up. 

What are the differences between Myspace and Facebook?  Easily put, Myspace is “fancy.”  You can use HTML code to add pictures, videos and glitter text.  In both, you add friends and network through these contacts.  

Facebook is more of an a social networking site for adults.  It is very plain and easy to read. No graphics, no backgrounds… just plain old white.  This makes it much easier to work with, in my opinion. 

In Facebook, you have a “wall” as your profile page that people can “write on.”  On your wall you will see little snippets of what people are doing and saying – a quick read that is lots of fun.  There is a place for you to write a snippet about what you are up to at the moment, very similar to Twitter. 

Pictures are easily uploaded in Facebook, and you can make albums choosing who can view them and who can’t.  You can also make your profile hidden from chosen people or the general public.  An easy instant messing system is built in, and you can see who is online at the same time as you. 

Immediately I was surprised at the amount of people I knew who already had a Facebook profile.  Once you ask to be a friend of someone and are accepted, Facebook will give you tips on other people that might be of interest to you.  It uses your school information, your home town and your connections to other friends to give you ideas.  This is how I found a few college friends and MANY family members who were already connected through the site. 

People are much easier to find in Facebook than on Myspace.  I am amazed at the people I am talking to now – folks I have not talked to in almost 20 years.  College friends, long lost family and childhood friends – finding others can be addicting!  You can also join groups of people with similar interests, from music to animal rescue and more. 

Facebook is for people who have either a little time or a lot to communicate with friends and family.  It is easy to use, better at finding members than Myspace and a great way to connect, even for a few minutes.  It might not be as fancy as Myspace, but it is certainly worth joining if you have friends and family on the internet.  And in my opinion, it is easier to use and a better way to stay in touch than on Myspace.