The Social Network – Become a Fan !!

Anyone who’s reading this review has a Facebook account,  well almost. Most of you would be aware  of what Facebook is and how it has changed our lives , at least a part of it in last few years. What started as a simple site about matching profiles and finding the ‘hottest’ girl on Harvard Campus has become a huge Internet giant with an approximate membership of over 500 Million people. If facebook were a country then its population would be 3rd behind China and India. Need I say more.

The Social Network is a movie based on the book ‘Accidental Billionaires’  (Here’s Link to my Review) written by Ben Mezrich. The story covers the life of young Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Sevrin and how a simple college project became a worldwide phenomenon. It of course tells the story from the ‘other’ side i.e. not from Mark’s perspective but from Eduardo’s perspective who not only feels cheated by Mark but filed lawsuit against Mark to get what he claimed was due to him. Zuckerberg at age of 25 is the youngest billionaire in the world today and his meteoric rise thanks to a ‘project of vengeance’ is remarkably shown but as they say every rose comes with a thorns.

The movie by David Fincher is a masterpiece in art of storytelling, brilliant script,  witty dialogues, excellent acting by the leads and even supporting cast. The movie is an interesting exploration of the events that has led up to the most influential invention of today’s generation.  The movie lets the user decide on which side they are, it makes the user think. Mark’s character is shown to be arrogant and nerdy and introvert and eccentric genius and selfish at times yet its in a way sad and sympathetic. The character of Mark is shown in such a way that you feel sorry for the guy and angry at him at the same time.Mark Zuckerberg in spite of making a tool to involve 500 Million people is still a loner in the end of the movie and the last scene where he tried to befriend his ex-girlfriend makes you feel sad for the guy who has everything in the world at his feet but doesn’t have a friend to share it with.

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg gives an Oscar worthy performance and Andrew Garfield as Eduardo matches him. Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker (of Napster fame) is excellent and watchout for Rooney Mara ( linked to the Millenium Series movies) as Erica Albright in a brief role.

The only minor issue with the film is that its highly talkative and fast moving with several flashbacks which unless you are familiar with the story or have read the book is at times difficult to follow. The film has some real witty dialogues  and  jokes but they are more relevant to an American audience than the Indian audience. Sadly, the film is not surprisingly running to empty houses as Indian audiences are not used to watching quality Hollywood cinema and prefer action and CGI effects to a real story !!

My Ratings :  8.5/10 –  Drop everything and watch this gem and Answer this – Would you add Mark Zuckerberg as your friend on Facebook?

Facebook has 500 Million users – What exactly do they do?

Social Networking site Facebook has 500 million users as of this week. Thats more than population of Europe or half the population of India, okay almost half , well its a huge number in any case.

But have you  ever wondered, What exactly do they do on facebook ?? Most people I know, i work with or I interact withare on Facebook or at worst  have atleast heard of someone in their family or freind using facebook. I beleive most people I know are already on facebook or will be in near future. Its simply because of this reason that Facebook has managed to attract more and more users by the day. If there is one site you want to be registered on that is Facebook because everybody you know is there. You can call it the ‘first mover’ advantage, although Facebook wasn’t the first social network available but it was certainly the most unique.

I have asked quite a few of them, what do they do. Majority are there on facebook just because everybody is on facebook, its more a peer pressure for some ,some are there to meet their long lost friends residing in some remote corner of the world. Some are there to meet their school friends or work colleagues or college mates who practically live in the next lane and perhaps meet them in ‘real’ world at least once in a day or couple of days. Some of the younger varieties are there for the ‘original’ task the site was designed for, ie. finding that HOT girl or girls, whom they are afraid of talking to in real life , and making her online ‘friend’. Some are there to share photos and nothing else, some are there to play mindless games like Farmville and Mafia Wars and silly quizzes.

What are Indians primarily doing on Facebook? A survey says majority of them wants to make online freinds and meet their long lost friends and relatives, almost 45%. Some 30% are there simply because their friends are on Facebook and its simply ‘cool’ to be there. About 35% Users login once every week to the site, while about 15% login at least once a  day, that says a lot about how popular the site has become. About 60% of Indian users have taken part in a quiz, a poll or an interactive game at some stage of their usage of Facebook. With its ability to connect with other social networks, popular blog sites and twitter, Facebook has become the first choice for most Indian Internet users, especially the first timers and youngsters. Every person has a different use of Facebook, some use it to connect with old friends, some use it to make new friends, some join it for games and interactivity, some for the picture sharing and some join it to be relevant in the emerging new ‘social’ world.

Although a recent survey says that Facebook is still not India’s premier social networking site, that honour goes to Orkut, the original social networking platform from Google but Facebook is catching up fast and how. According to the latest results Facebook has already gone past Orkut in search trends

Some say, Facebook is just another site which will lose its relevance in days to come and something better and different will emerge. But going by the sheer numbers I think it is here to stay for long.

So 500 Million is just a landmark and a billion is not too far for the most popular social networking site in the world, FACEBOOK.