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Google “Insights for Search” feature and it’s relation to Facebook.com

Facebook.com launched in February 2004, and has since become the world’s most popular social networking site. Many of us have seen the movie “The Social Network” and found out that Facebook started out in Ivy League colleges, then spread to other school exponentially. In fact, watching that movie could provide for an interesting lesson as many points relevant to this class are mentioned (for example, the part when Mark Zuckerberg explains how Facebook would branch out to two schools near a third school in hopes the third school would catch interest to the site and use it).

Google Insights for Search is a beta feature developed by Google, which allows users to “see what the world is searching for”. It allows interested users to search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames, and properties. Useful certainly for this class, it contains a filter that asks users to input what region to search for on the Earth, what time frame, and what specific keywords and categories to select.

By using this feature, www.insidefacebook.com has mapped each month from 2004 à present globally, showing users a search volume index of how Facebook.com spread, and its popularity at that specific moment. Interestingly enough, we see that after the other Ivies were introduced to the site, Facebook branched to California. Similar to what we see during lecture slides, it is easily noted that by branching to Stanford University in California, Facebook shifted its interest from the eastern seaboard to a national scale, allowing for a gradual growth in the middle states over time instead of a “wave” pattern of shifts from the east to west coast specifically. Now, while this all may be interesting on paper, it is truly captivating to see the actual graphs and dates in which the site expanded. Seeing that in January of 2005, Facebook instantly added international school networks and where they are on the map, we notice that the more affluent countries took interest to the site (likely due to the fact they have better educational systems).

 

http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/08/19/mapping-facebooks-growth-over-time/

 

-Frank

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