Who will Facebook ‘borrow’ from next?

Since Facebook’s inception in the 1990s it has constantly adapted to allow the world to communicate; letting us all stay in touch privately and publicly.

It has been the home of happy reunions and terrible deaths – but in an online world where there is no moderator this rollercoaster is only to be expected.

What makes Facebook stand out is its evolution, and the ability to know what the user wants. Although the ideas are not always Facebooks.

To ensure it does not become passé, the website waits for popular trends then takes them on. For example, when Twitter became big news – Facebook changed its set-up giving its users more ‘real-time’ news feeds.

When foursquare emerged, Facebook was worried enough about the start-up to introduce its version of a location based app ‘Facebook Places’.

Although Facebook Places has not taken off particularly well, with more people signing up to Foursquare than to Facebook Places in the first week, it won’t be long until Facebook flesh out its offering and will overtake the start-up.

This trend of ‘borrowing’ others ideas is unlikely to stop, the large team of developers under Mark Zuckerburg have the skill to turn around a working application quickly, unlike Twitter who have been promising a location based service since January.

The 2010 Topten review survey handed the title of ‘world’s most popular site’ to Facebook. The site is so popular because it offers more interaction with friends than is possible through many other sites.

It also offers a range of boredom-breaking applications such as fun pages and games.

A recent study showed that Facebook users are spending 40% of their time playing games. Users can already share games and payment between users, without having to sign-up or log on. With a dedicated gaming manager being brought on board, to discover developers and publishers, it may be the case where gamers head straight to Facebook before checking any other online gaming site.

There are rumours that the giant will offer a ‘Questions’ area, similar to Yahoo questions, which will really turn the site into a one stop shop for all your social networking needs.

Who can tell what is next for the massive phenomenon, it may offer a blogging service or even expand its business offering (without selling user details). It all depends on the next popular thing!

The lesson to take from Facebook is to always evolve your offering by finding out what the audience wants and then emulating it!

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