ASMALLWORLD And Facebook Followed Different Paths

When asked to name a popular social networking site, Facebook is the one site that springs to mind. But surprisingly enough another site which set up within a month of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is “ASMALLWORLD.”

So what do we know about this site? Back in 2004, ASMALLWORLD was displaying similar features to that of Facebook with the ability to check on and chat with friends, send messages and check out people’s profile pages and adjoining information. Whilst Zuckerberg can take pride in his site achieving a whooping half a billion members, ASMALLWORLD has struggled to attract more than half a million. Edmund at reported that with Zuckerberg now becoming one of the world’s top entrepreneurs sitting on a fortune of $7bn, its suffering competitor has endured financial burden, laying off staff and lack of profit. So why have both these sites taken such different paths?

The one and only reason I can see is what target audience they were aiming at. ASW was opened up to “invite-only” users particularly Harvard students, whereas Facebook encouraged everybody to join in the early days, and from this, word spread from campus to campus. There was nothing spectacular about Facebook but it was the way in which it spread from user to user. Although we have to take our hat off to Zuckerberg and his success, we can by no means compare him to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates where their products can be classed as something extra special. I wonder what ASW’s founder must be thinking now?

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