What is a friend? The first dictionary definition is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. The second is a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter. It is using this definition that you are a friend of Facebook. I am personifying a website but the idea remains the same. You support Facebook’s business by using it, then Facebook can put small ads on the side of your screen to make money for them self. Soon they will also make money by selling stock, a lot of money. But Facebook has almost one billion friends, so you are but a single speck of sand on the beach that is Facebook. They do not need you. You do not need them either, but they make a lot of things easier.
The few people I know who do not have a Facebook account often claim that it is just a waste of time, that they are not productive because of it. I can attest to this. While writing this I will probably check the news feed twice, and I am not really sure why. I may see a funny status, or a cool quote, but it really won’t add much value to my life. It does allow me to keep tabs on people I otherwise wouldn’t, but anybody that was really important to me would not require Facebook to stay in touch. I do not know the business proposition of Facebook or anything. I just know that lots of people including myself use it. That is good enough to me, so I do not question it.
But Facebook is not your friend. There are no feelings of affection there. There is a way though, if used properly that Facebook can give you assistance and support you. I mentioned earlier the ads on the sidebar of Facebook. Have you noticed these? If you are like me, most of the ads are for stupid games. I always click on a little x on these ads, which over time will hopefully make game ads stop appearing. I do see more ads about sports now, they get ad ideas from things that you like. So if say, you like Poor Student (hint) you may get more ads about student credit cards, or debt forgiveness,just examples. I have liked a few sports teams, a few personal finance things, a few fitness things. One ad I see a lot is “8 Muscle Foods For Men”, another is “Earn From Home”.
Facebook is starting to learn that I like making and keeping money. I see ads about coupons or deals, about contests, etc. But once I saw an ad for some paid surveys. I think the ad said “$35+ for taking our survey”, or something to that effect. Skeptical, I clicked on it. it was a University of New Brunswick research survey offering exactly what it said it would. I was paid $35 for taking a half hour survey or so. And it included invitations to be surveyed again every six months for increasing compensation each time.
The ads on the side can be lucrative like this if you keep your eyes open. An open mind lets opportunities in. This is just one way Facebook can reward you.
In Canada a new company has just started that connects businesses to people with social networks. Likenet rewards users for liking businesses on Facebook, or following on Twitter, etc. It works through your Facebook account so it is a good way to have Facebook working for you.
I also try to double up my benefits by being rewarded just for getting to the site. Every time I go to Facebook I search for it with Swagbucks, a search engine that rewards you for using it. So simply by going to Facebook I can earn some money.
Facebook does not have to be just a time killer, although that is what it is best for. I have benefited from it. Although my number of friends did not go up, just by thinking differently, I can now say that my relationship with Facebook is mutually beneficial and Facebook is now my friend as well.