Facebook’s more than one billion users make it a cultural, economic and social phenomenon. The importance of the online social media site to journalism, business, communication and social relationships is hard to overstate, with users across the world devoting countless hours to the site and Facebook becoming an increasingly important way of obtaining information not only about friends and family but also about world events. Whether it’s good or bad is debatable, but the site’s impact is unquestionable.
Facebook’s $100 billion initial public offering on Wall Street makes the site an important economic actor in itself. Beyond the company’s own value, however, Facebook also has an entire interface designed for businesses, complete with business profile pages and an advertising system that allows marketers to target their ads based on the wealth of information users provide about themselves on the site. This interface not only generates revenue for the company but also creates a rare opportunity for small businesses with limited advertising budgets and a need to reach specific audiences.