Sheryl Sandberg Facebook’s COO recently delivered a talk at the London School Economics on how Facebook is changing the world. In the remainder of this post, I highlight some of they key points from the talk which you can watch above.
Facebook has over 30 million users in the UK.
The most recent innovation of the web, is the shift from information retrieval to social discovery. This is the birth of the social web. When you browse Facebook, you are not necessarily looking for a subject matter – you are open to responses from others (Facebook’s newsfeed). We live our lives in social discovery and not in information seeking mode. The information web isn’t dying, it is just evolving.
Today, we are seeing two fundamental transformational shifts from the information web to the social web.
1. On the social web – you have real identity and real personalisation, its entirely personal
2. There’s a shift from information retrieval to social discovery (this is how Facebook works)
We live our lives mostly in social discovery, not really in information seeking mode. The social web is powering us as individuals in a totally different way. This is why we think people are spending so much time on Facebook. The average user in the UK spends about 7 hours per month on Facebook.
There’s another shift from the wisdom of crowds, where everything is done based on algorithms to the wisdom of friends, where we listen to recommendations of people we value. The social web doesn’t just connecting us to people we know, but it connects us to people we don’t know in ways that make them really human. This is a shift from the “what to the who”. Every single day 15 million people connect, and 50 million people ‘Like’ a page. Marketers have always known that the best form of advocacy is friend to friend.