Facebook announced this week they reached the 500M member mark. You’ve probably heard the statistics comparing Facebook’s size to that of the population of a large country.

So, is there anyone left that hasn’t signed up for a Facebook account?

Increasingly, the big business question with all things social media tends to be the ROI on all that time spent working with “free” services such as Facebook, Twitter, and emerging location based services such as Foursquare. Surely Facebook has ways to derive revenue from all the content some portion of the 500M members creates.

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As a Telecompetitor reader, it is likely that you have a Facebook “fan page” for your company. Perhaps you have even added the Facebook “Like” button to your own web presence. The barrier to entry is low since a lot of the Facebook integration is very lightweight and easily accessible. For the service provider though, it is also a good question of what you should care about relating to Facebook content and how often it is consumed by your own subscribers.

Facebook Growth

Network analysis and trending over the years is a good indicator of what is truly “hot” on the network. For example, you might recall a few years ago when a report from your network engineer would indicate most of the traffic on your Internet links was consuming (and publishing) to MySpace. You also might recall the rise of P2P traffic that eventually became swamped by HTTP traffic destined for YouTube and Google. Service providers today should be paying attention to Facebook for this reason.

Here’s a few questions for your warm Friday afternoon:

  • Have your network engineers watched Facebook use grow on the network?
  • Are you equipped with the right application level reporting to understand how your subscribers are consuming and publishing to Facebook?
  • Would you be prepared to work with a different Internet carrier to buy circuits that perform better with respect to Facebook?
  • Do you have business accounts asking for ways to control or limit business access to sites and services like Facebook?

Share your FB experience.

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2 thoughts on “Facebook Claims 500M Members: Should You Care?

  1. For what it's worth, Facebook does a good job with internet connectivity, to the point that I haven't been on a connection that, due to backbone issues, has bogged down Facebook, at least lately. Of course, if you're on IPv6 then Hurricane Electric is the go-to provider…and it also happens to be the cheapest network out there, at $1 or so per megabit on a decent sized commit.

    Here's what I mean when I say that Facebook is well connected:
    http://bgp.he.net/AS32934

    I'm sure they'll peer with any provider who wants to do so, as long as the provider gets to one of the big internet exchanges.

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