An article published last week was written by a woman feeling
relieved and emancipated for removing herself from Facebook.
She claimed that she had returned to phoning her friends when
she needed contact and that when she felt the urge to check
the world's largest social media site, she did something
else, like read.
Congratulations to that person: breaking the shackles of
Facebook had obviously become important to her.
But I view it differently. My son had a significant birthday
last week and it was an opportunity to share with him from
afar some early birthday photos of when he turned 1 and 7.
The comments from his friends spread around New Zealand were
rewarding in themselves, as I could not attend the
I do not spend a long time on Facebook and can go a day or
two without checking.
Interestingly, an interview published by Bloomberg with
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg puts me right in the
forefront of where he plans to take the company in the
After several months as the internet's punching bag, Mr
Zuckerberg has something to brag about - Facebook has one
billion users. If Facebook was a country, it would be the
third-largest behind China and India.
With mobile users being seen as the future of the internet,
Facebook is in the midst of a radical transformation to
become a mobile-first service, as it aims for the next
billion users, and the next.
I use Facebook nearly exclusively from my mobile phone
running on Telecom's XT network.
A photo from my Samsung can be uploaded seamlessly and
appears in seconds. The baby photos for the significant
birthday were on a USB drive so had to be loaded from my
Facebook does not make much money off mobile but Mr
Zuckerberg is not looking at things from quarter to quarter.
He is taking the long view and said in the Bloomberg
interview the next four billion Facebook users would be using
the service on their phones.
"A lot of it over the next few years is going to come down to
mobile. There is this funnel that I think is pretty clear and
in our favour, which is there are going to be more people
using mobile devices. There are already five billion, so
that's where the user growth is going to come from."
It is a brave call by Mr Zuckerberg but he has been proved
correct before with the exponential growth of Facebook.
But one thing needs to happen before we are all connected
constantly to our mobile devices and Facebook - better
battery life for our smartphones. Instead of having chargers
at work, home and in the car, a battery that lasts 12 hours
would be welcome.