2014 for Facebook – A year of trends and new heights in review

Facebook completed ten years of connecting friends this year. This decade has seen the California based social networking site coming out with most famous IPO, gaining a peak valuation of $104 billion, taking the number of users to over 1.4 billion and has completed some of Silicon Valley’s fast packed and costly acquisitions. Lets’ look this year what has been in store for Facebook.

Trends: What was most discussed this year?

Facebook came out with dedicated website http://yearinreview.fb.com/ to review the global trends which were most talked about in Facebook during 2014. The website list down the 10 most talked about phenomena on Facebook this year:

  1. World Cup- 2014 Football World cup in Brazil which was grabbed by Germany
  2. Ebola Virus Outbreak – Ebola virus outbreak causes fear in minds of people worldwide
  3. Elections in Brazil – Presidential election in Brazil was debated across the world
  4. Robin Williams – Loss of notable Actor was felt across the movie industry and fan fraternity
  5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – A fun challenge to promote awareness about ALS
  6. Conflict in Gaza – Conflict in much debated part of the world rose again this year
  7. Malaysia Airlines – Disappearance and shooting down of passenger aircraft
  8. Super Bowl – Superbowl XLVIII in US
  9. Michael Brown/Ferguson – Shooting of an unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson
  10. Sochi Olympics – Winter Olympics in Sochi

The website also has list of Top 10 – Topics, Places, Athlete, Entertainers, TV Shows, Movies, Songs, Games, Ice Bucket Challenges Videos and People in Lost.

ALS Ice bucket challenge tops the chart for most popular viral phenomenon this year. Though it is unknown who started the trend, but the trend was picked by most celebrities. The challenge involved pouring a bucketful of Ice cold water over your head, tag and challenge your friends to do the same and donate for the ALS cause. The challenge got viral with who’s and who of celebrity world joining the trend. The phenomena gathered more than 17 million video uploads and lead to donations of more than $100 Mn in donations. To know more about ALS and donate visit http://www.alsa.org/donate/ . You can also watch 10 failed Ice Bucket Challenges and 10 Most viewed Ice Bucket Challenges in US.

eBola Virus Outbreak was one of the most talked topic this year on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg released a public video urging the Facebook community to contribute to the ebola virus outbreak. He personally donated $25 million for the cause. Facebook also promoted the organizations working to stop ebola

Shakira and Christiano Ronaldo became the first celebrities to cross 100 million likes on their pages.

 How has Facebook fared as a company?

Like 2013, this year too Facebook was in a search for most promising candidates up for grab. Most noticeable of the lot was WhatsApp – Facebook acquired the most popular Cross-platform mobile messaging company started by Ex-Yahoo employee Brian Acton and Jan Koum. Facebook paid a whopping $19 billion in cash and stock to acquire Whatsapp. Whatsapp Boasts of 600 million active users and more than 10 billion messages shared everyday through the platform.

Facebook also bought LiveRail, a premium video ad tech startup for $500 Mn. This transaction would help Facebook bring more Ad dollars and would improve on the way to fit adverts in their videos. Facebook also acquired Pryte a mobile data package firm. Pryte helps telcos sell data plans in form of apps. This acquisition can help Facebook package their own app in with data plans of telecos.

Facebook is still building on their revenues on every quarter. Facebook has also emerged as #13 best places to work for in the recent Glassdoor Employees’ choice award.

 New features rolled in this year

Facebook rolled out various features this year to make the user experience more intuitive and enriching.

In January, Facebook introduced Trending to help people discover timely and relevant conversations about trendthe news that they care about. The feature was released only for web based site earlier and now has been extended to mobile site and mobile phone apps.

Facebook also launched its Graph Search this year. This search functionality helps the user to search more using phrases and sentences. Users can also search through their earlier posts as well as from the Check-Ins. Read More.Search

Facebook Group app which lets users share the content faster to their choice of group. This app let users post photos, content, links to the group, track notifications, discover new groups and find like-minded group faster. Read more about Facebook Groups.

Facebook also launched #saythanksa special feature which a user can use to convey a beautiful thank you note. The note allows user to select posts or photos which you would like to include in your video. This feature was launched around the time of Thanksgiving this year.

Facebook also launched Facebook Techwire an online resource for Journalists to discover original content. Facebook also released a new open source programming language called Hack this year. Facebook also launched a number of updates to their ads, timelines, messenger apps, privacy policy, new feed and apps.

Some Negative Press too

Facebook has been in news not only for right but also for some negative press as well.

  1. Facebook’s real name policy controversy has led to auto-deletion or suspension of several likeprofiles. Facebook expects the user to use their real name not the stage or any fancy given name. This policy is listed in the Facebook Help Section. This controversy lead Chief Product officer of Facebook to issue a public apology.
  2. Facebook came under lot of negative press due to their psychological study of user data pattern as well this year. This was a mood experiment in which selected users were shown positive news feed and some negative news.

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