Students weigh in on Facebook popularity

Sam Brown
Web Editor

Since Facebook opened in 2004 it has only become a more and more popular website. At the start in 2004, Facebook had about one million users but have reached over 800 million today.

However we’ve seen this trend with lots of popular forms of entertainment.

From pet rocks in the 70s to Facebook today, the question surfacing is will Facebook die, just like its older networks or even the pet rock.

People have seen the increasing development of social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Facebook reached over 845 million users as of Dec. 31, 2011, and Twitter has over 350 million users as of June 2011.

Starting with sites like MySpace, which has turned into a virtual ghost town, social networking has grown in use and enjoyment. Social networks have vastly changed from a page, to a profile, to a 140-character “tweet” and still changing.

“Once people get hooked on it (social networks), it becomes a part of them,” said sophomore Montrell Watson. “I’m on Twitter 24/7 and rarely on Facebook.”

One of the newest social networks is Pinterest.

Pinterest is one of the newer sites, giving users a chance to share a collection of things people love using pictures.

More growing social networks include Google Plus, Instagram and Tumblr.

Fascination with networks wasn’t around forever. Before these sites, toys boomed.

In the 1970s, one of the big things was the pet rock, created by advertising executive Gary Dahl.

Created as a joke for being the best pet ever, it soon was sold in stores and 1.5 million were bought by people looking for the easy “pet.”

After six months, it faded and is rarely found today since they are no longer manufactured, but in 2009, i-Star Entertainment started manufacturing its own line of pet rocks and sold them at retail stores.

After pet rocks came the Tamagotchi, starting in the late 90s. The virtual pets had children in a buzz and sold world-wide. With Tamagotchis, others could care for them like they would a child, and raise them to adults and even interact with other children’s.

However popular these toys were, they have faded from public use, and that has students and adults’ wondering is if Facebook will end up like MySpace or the original pet rock or Tamagotchis.

“It already has,” said sophomore Ryan Tumminello. “The focus is already shifted to Twitter.”

“I think it will stay because Facebook is adding new stuff to it every day to make it more modern and fun,” said sophomore Clare Maas.

Facebook’s founders, Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and the first president Sean Parker, have all recently started selling their shares of the network.

With all of the men having become billionaires, the only theory so far on why they sold was to take some of the money off the table.

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