Facebook. The ongoing tension between overpromise and the invention of new worlds
Facebook was created in February 2004, and now, five years later, counts on 175 million friends from all countries. Over the last few months it has seen an accelerated and all-encompassing growth and the figures might reach 300 million by the end of this year. No other application, platform or program has ever grown at this rate or brought together so many people, especially from the wealthier areas of society. Both criticised and praised, it is a social operating system that on one hand is threatening the great creators of previous stages of the Internet, from Microsoft to Google, and on the other hand, in its role as a social analyser, leads to a peak the proverbial fantasies and fears of those who see the net either as a kind of domination or as a form of liberation. As the basis for a current research project at the National University of Buenos Aires, this article shows how Facebook can be used to analyse the role that could or should be played in cyberspace by identity, participation, cultural convergence, architecture and virtual communities.
Facebook; social networks; operating systems; social analyser; future media; techno-optimism; techno-pessimism
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