Facebook wants to keep users on Facebook. So far, they are doing a pretty good job of that. More and more people are spending more of their online time on Facebook, not to mention, spending more time connected to the web in general (at least partially due to rising use of smartphones).
How much time do you spend on Facebook in a month? A week? Let us know.
Facebook recently made it a point to show users how to use the social network to keep up with the news. Users can simply become fans of their favorite news organizations’ pages (feel free to include ours in your mix), and group them in a "news" list just as they would create a group for friends or co-workers. The bottom line is; spending more time on Facebook getting news headlines is spending more time on Facebook period. There is also talk of Facebook working on its own web email service. Again, more time spent on Facebook.
One way Facebook could capture even more of its users’ time, is if it introduced a "blog" tab. Facebook currently has a "notes" tab, and quite a few people do use this. It’s a similar concept, but what if it was given more prominence and renamed "blog?" A blog tab might keep Facebook users even longer. First of all, the users blogging with it would obviously be sticking around to write their posts. In addition, their friends and fans would be sticking around longer to read those posts, which would generally be much longer and require more time than the average status update.
Would more people become bloggers?
I suspect that the word "notes" doesn’t quite resonate the same as the word blog in the minds of many Facebook users, although for all intents and purposes, the feature operates like a blog. You can post longer-form content for your friends and fans to see, and they can comment on it, while it all remains in tact in one spot for future reference. Not only could the addition of a "blog" tab keep Facebook users around longer, but it could have a significant impact on the Blogosphere. Simply calling it a blog and having it available right from any user’s profile page might just inspire.
Is social media killing blogs?
No, but it’s hard to say that use of sites like Facebook and Twitter (and now Google Buzz) don’t lend to less blog posts being created. If nothing else, it’s simply a time issue. It is easy to push out a quick status update if you have something to say. It’s easier than blogging. For longer-form content, blogs are generally the better option, which is one reason they are still alive and well. But if Facebook had a blog tab, the social network could cut into the Blogosphere even more, given its huge userbase, while establishing itself as a go-to place for blogging (another area in which Facebook could compete with Google, I might add. Don’t forget that Google owns Blogger).
If Facebook did this, it is very unlikely that all current bloggers would immediately go running there to do their blogging, but Facebook users who may not already be blogging may find the urge to do so when that tab is right in front of their faces. And frankly, I’m confident many current bloggers would go running there. Facebook is a powerful tool for building an audience or expanding upon one.
It works on MySpace. Look at director Eli Roth’s blog, for example. He gets a lot of engagement there (although he hasn’t updated in several months). Facebook is another animal altogether, and its growth is unprecedented. Just look at Facebook’s latest round of stats.
Facebook is frequently adding and changing features, as any user can certainly attest (for better or for worse). It is not hard to imagine them doing something like this. For the record, the company has made no mention of going such a route, to my knowledge. There are currently ways to blog within and around Facebook if you look hard enough, but if Facebook made blogging a focal point, I think it could take off, and perhaps lend to the concept of Facebook as a news source, and even add greatly to the Blogosphere by encouraging more blogging.
Should Facebook Have a blog tab? Would you use it? Share your thoughts.