SWOT Analysis of Facebook as a Platform
SWOT Analysis of Facebook as a Platform
Facebook has become one of the turners of the century as its features have changed the world both on the personal and commercial level. It has growing users every single day from the initial 12 million active users as based on 2006 assessment and these users continue growing every single. It has turned into a necessity in communicating friends, relatives and other people. Aside from this, it has also been used by 1.52 billion users daily (Facebook, 2019). This only shows the glimpse of the potential of this platform.
However, to further assess what it can potentially do, Facebook as a platform should be examined through its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By doing this, the advantages and things that people should be wary of in considering the use of Facebook in businesses.
Among its primary strengths is the number of active users that it has. As presented by the statistics, Facebook has billions of users already. These are actively using the platform all throughout the day. What adds as an advantage to this platform is it allowing to use the application for free even without wireless connection and prepaid load. It makes it more accessible to everyone.
Aside from this, it is easy to use. Anyone can create their own accounts in a matter of minutes. A person can create as many accounts as he or she wishes as long as the details are legitimate and are not posing as another person. In addition to this, a person may create groups and pages which can be used for business purposes. This opens a myriad of people from whom one can connect with.
Another strength will be its integration and connection with other applications. Once a person has a Facebook account, he/she can connect it with other social networking sites and even other applications including shopping sites and other useful applications. It makes connection easier compared to other sites.
Another feature that can be considered as its strength will be its advertising feature. It allows the person to target its audience. The duration of the advertisement can also be set based on the amount that the person can pay. It can relate to credit cards and other banking facilities. The life of Facebook is also anchored on its advertisements based on the preferences of the users.
Different brands and products can penetrate the system through its advertisement and based on the constantly searched words or products. Aside from this, Facebook can also allow people to engage in business without paying anything by creating pages and groups where everyone can join or like.
With that, Facebook can indeed become a site for interpersonal connections and for business purposes. It has been made accessible to many people that it has gained its power as a platform for both personal and business affairs. However, Facebook is not only about strengths.
A major weakness of the platform will be its non-sustainability due to fake accounts in this social media. Since the lifeblood of the platform is on the advertisement and clicks of people and how far the posts can reach, the targeting of many people may not be achieved.
Another weakness is the incapacity to screen and to regulate the people who will access the accounts and the kind of people who are behind the accounts. This will put problems in transactions and may even cause the target market to stop from trusting the platform for their transactions. Eventually, this platform will become a suspicious place for business transactions and that sellers and buyers will have to be extra careful in dealing with their respective affairs.
This can also be a way for destroying various people and groups. With cyber bullying rampant and fake accounts, it could be easy to cause destruction to any person or any product. This can be another weakness that the platform that can be regarded that can wane the effectivity of the platform.
The ability of the platform to allow its users to connect to each other easily is among its opportunities. It creates the potential network that the people will need in the process of using it as a network for business. A report states that a Facebook user will usually use 20 minutes of his time every day on this social media (Ellison, Steinfield & Lampe, 2007). The more time people spend on this platform, the opportunities get vast.
Another opportunity espoused with the commercial use of this will be the rampant use of the internet and the availability of smartphones. Almost everyone has their laptop and smartphones with them that installing Facebook will be something that can be done in seconds. With the onset of improvement of technology, the availability of the medium for securing this platform will not be a problem anymore.
Aside from this, Facebook is continuously undergoing research. With its developers conducting further research about this platform, these improvements can serve as turning points for future opportunities as Facebook turns to be an avenue for more business transactions.
Among its threats will be the other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. These also are platforms that provide free access to users. The users have also been increasing through time although the nature of the posts may be different from the others. These social media platforms also thrive on advertisement just like that in Facebook.
Another threat can be people stopping from using this application and may end up resorting to alternative platforms is the hostility that one may get from all the kinds of users that have access to Facebook. Aside from this, the tendency for cyber bullying is also a threat for the users to keep on using the applications.
A major threat for businesses especially those who create groups and pages for their products will be the possibility for scams. There are many users who may claim to be the legitimate sellers or buyers may end up scamming innocent Facebook users. The products and even sellers or buyers cannot be screened by the platform unless these are reported.
Facebook has numerous competitors in the market at the moment. As mentioned earlier, other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and the like are also used for advertisement as well but lacks the marketplace feature that it has. The sellers that these targets heavily rely on the clicks and user views. Instagram is starting with online selling as well and may potentially be like Facebook eventually as it allows the creation of pages or accounts that can sell different products online. Twitter, on the other hand lacks this kind of feature yet since it thrives more on short posts and links.
For the market, online shopping sites like Lazada, Amazon, Ebay, etc can serve as competitors. These sites provide an avenue for online shopping ever since. These kind of competitors might the ones difficult to deal with since they started with this kind of business even before Facebook thought of it. Aside from this, the nature of these competitors is focused on selling only and not on the social networking aspect trimming down the users to a minimal.
With that, Facebook is a fertile ground for commercial endeavors. However, it should be noted that even before it turned out to be how it is at the moment, there were existing competitors focusing on such deals or there are also other platforms at par with the services that it can provide.
With its given situation, Facebook can do more improvements as a business or commercial platform. The people behind this social networking site should continuously develop and research about the weaknesses of the platform. Heightened security and minimizing the presence of bogus or fake accounts in the site could also help. Aside from this, customer safety especially with money should also be thought about.
It will always be an advantage for Facebook to be accessible and to offer free communication with everyone. This should just be developed in a sense that it would not be used for abuse or scams. The integration of network with e-commerce is effective but some regulatory finishing touches should be done on the application itself.
Facebook can have its strengths and weaknesses. With the advantages that it can pull for the commercial purposes. However, with the accessibility to many users, it also creates the danger for its consumers and its patrons. With that, it would be noteworthy to consider how to improve it through its threats and opportunities. This will help the developers and even the users to understand how to further harness the potential of the platform for business purposes.
Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. “The benefits of Facebook ‘friends.’ Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication”, 12(4), 2007, pp. 1143–1168.
Facebook. “Our history”, 2019, https://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/. Accessed 18 April 2019.