Facebook is the true winner of the Internet
I did a quick User Research session recently for Kerawa in an Internet Café. I wanted to see what people do on the Internet for 1h they paid for. It would give me basic data about what users prioritise when on the Internet, and how much time they spend on various services.
From a population of 35 people (probably insignificant), the findings absolutely blew me away:
1. 32 went to Facebook first, spent on average their first 15mn there, then went on to check their emails.
2. Once email was done, they checked portals, sports news, celebrities news, and maybe a bit of world news. Interestingly, none of them checked local news if not on Facebook.
3. In the background, Facebook chat windows were open and they often got back to that to discuss random things with their friends.
Everything taken into consideration, they spent on average 40mn of their Internet hour on Facebook.
After almost 10 years abroad, I assumed that behaviours and patterns I observed in Europe and in the US were the global norms. Forgetting the so-called 99%... But it's much clearer now, even more so with my job at Kerawa, that FACEBOOK IS THE INTERNET for a large number of people we often ignore.
The recent internet.org and Facebook Basics push are a stronger evidence of this, and literally made me fall back in love with Facebook. First, as a medium to push my own content. Second, as an effective user acquisition channel for Kerawa. It's certainly worth exploring other Facebook products, especially WhatsApp, to see whether Facebook truly is the 800-lbs gorilla in the room.
Facebook is the true winner of the Internet, the West just does not realise it yet.