The increased popularity of personal webpage profile sites has been a popular trend within the college social scene and the #1 college focused site, Facebook, has changed the future of social networking sites.
Facebook creators Mark Zuckerburg, Chris Hughes, and Dustin Moskovitz, established the site on February 4, 2004; the site reached an increasing number of accounts in the latter half of 2005. As of December 2005, Facebook had the largest number of registered users of college focused sites. Over six million US college student accounts are registered with the site and 20,000 accounts registered daily, stated in an article by Jeff Claver.
Facebook has similarities to social networking website, MySpace, which offers member blogs, profiles, photos, and an email system. Facebook differentiates itself from other social networking sites because it requires a valid email address from over 2,000 colleges and universities to join the site.
Over five-hundred Dillard students, faculty, and alumni are registered on Facebook under a Dillard email address. An additional amount of students are registered under other schools they attended during the fall semester. The site allows Dillard students to browse member pages through Dillard’s social network, and their own friends’ pages. Students can also send messages, add picture comments and wall posts, upload pictures and “poke” friends.
“I check my Facebook page three times a day,” says Lekisha Hall, junior elementary and special education major from Las Vegas, Nevada who joined the site in October 2005. Hall has over 300 Facebook friends and said that the site is positive for Dillard students as a means for posting school announcements.
Facebook, although a popular site, may not appeal to every individual. “A lot of people let Facebook make them or break them,” says Sharde Jennings, sophomore mass communication major from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who is not a member of Facebook. Jennings also said that relationship status, various quotes, and “tagging pictures” can cause controversy.
Facebook allows Dillard students to start and/or join groups exclusively for the Dillard social network. Several student organizations, i.e. Greek, service, and social, all have groups on Facebook as well as common interest groups.
Popular Facebook groups in the Dillard social network are, D.U.’S Grown and Sexy Chapter, Dillard’s Finest, Du Is Back and Ya’ll Haterz Can’t Stand That!!!, Fly as Hell, I’M a 80’S Baby, and I Spend Too Much Money on Food at Kabby’s, Popeye’s, etc. The two groups with over 400 members are I’m not Stuck Up, I Just Don’t Like You! (DU chapter), and Blaq Discussions-..What Black Men and Women Really Want To Say To Each Other!
While other social networks may provide similar services, Facebook continues to be one of the most trafficked sites in the United States.