Forget about the self-display of the stereotype Facebook user for the moment. You can create a link for almost any content from Facebook. You can link to blogs, news, videos, and more. Doesn’t that make Facebook to a Link Directory?
However, all these linked pieces of content that you usually find on Facebook was once found by users through search engines, before they were ever been published on Facebook. Thus, Facebook drives people to other websites.
Conversely, there is hardly anybody who links to Facebook from other websites. The so-called SERP, the classic result page on Google which appears after a search, usually does not show any Facebook content. One of the reasons might be that it wouldn’t make any sense: If Google published Facebook content in the their result pages, the user would be directed to Facebook, only to be directed back to another website – so why not show the original website in the first place on Google? That’s exactly what Google is doing: It drives their users to the primary source instead of Facebook.
Facebook is a Link Generator
This leaves a lot of considerations for Facebook. Facebook is a kind of a links collection for interesting content. Interesting because users themselves make a pre-selection, which URL they want to publish on Facebook or not.
Facebook was actually designed for this purpose. Every link users copy to their timeline will be provided by an automatically generated thumbnail Facebook deems fit, followed by an excerpt. In addition, the users are presented with an ideal prepared link preview.
Basically, Facebook is a gigantic bookmark sharing portal, since it is now mainly used to share third-party links. The need of the users to share links to the others gained popularity with social bookmarking before the emergence of Facebook.
Facebook however was able to take advantage of this need and replaced bookmark sharing portals Facebook understood to offers people a more user-friendly interface to share their links as social bookmarking portals such as Delicious were able to. Over the years, it became obvious that many users did not focus on the sole collection of links, but the engagement of the user – in Facebook this is presented with the “Like”.
Facebook’s Saturation Phase
The maturity phase of social bookmarking stopped at the beginning of 2009, when Facebook was in the middle of its growth phase.
The peak of the maturity phase of Facebook at the end of 2013 also meant a significant decline in the importance of social bookmarking. Short later, in 2014, Facebook’s degeneration began as more and more users left Facebook
Basically, Facebook is a gigantic bookmark sharing portal, since it is now mainly used to share third-party links.
The need of the users to present their links to the others gained in the form of social bookmarking already in the time before the emergence of Facebook to popularity. Facebook was able to take advantage of this need and pushed the bookmark sharing portals more and more over time. This trend is reflected, among other things, by the trend analysis of Google Trends. Facebook offers people a more user-friendly interface to share the links as the social bookmarking portals, such as Delicious. Over the years, it became obvious that many users did not focus on the sole collection of the book, but the appreciation of the other users – with Facebook through the “Like”.