Date: February 1st, 2008
You’ve probably heard about Facebook—the website that all the teenagers are talking about, right? Well not anymore! Facebook is an on-line social networking site that is rapidly changing and reaching out to audiences of all ages and types.
Facebook started off as a resource for students to stay connected with one another but has quickly expanded to include people of all ages—more than 120 million people are currently signed-up. Users can create a profile page and include information about themselves, their interests, and their experiences like where they went to college, where they work, and what they like to do in their spare time. They can then connect to other users that they know from school, work, community groups, or through countless personal interests.
Once they connect with someone on Facebook—or “become friends”—they can keep up with each other by sharing updates, photos, messages, and even videos. It’s really easy to use and anyone can join—the only thing you need is access to the Internet. People of all ages are finding that it’s a great way to stay in touch with a lot of people all at once and to even stay connected in professional networks.
Becoming More than a Social Site
True—Facebook is the #1 social networking site—but it’s also becoming so much more. Users are not only connecting to friends but also to colleagues, businesses, politicians, and even celebrities. They can play games, get information about events, and show their support for different causes. During his campaign, President-elect Obama had a page on Facebook that ended up with more than 2 million supporters! He even started a page that encouraged on-line debates about issues that were important to voters.
More and more businesses and organizations are now realizing that with 120 million people on Facebook, it’s a good way to get the word out on what they do. Restaurants, stores, musicians, churches, and all sorts of non-profits now have pages. In fact, the Alliance for Aging Research recently launched its very own page. Check it out by clicking on the Facebook logo below:
Once you have your own Facebook profile, you can connect to the Alliance page—to connect with groups or organizations you become a “fan” (as opposed to a friend)—and get the inside scoop on what’s going on at the Alliance. While some of this information can be found on our website; on our Facebook page we also share photos, let you know about important events, link to our blog, and give you a behind-the-scenes look at what we do everyday to advance medical research and enhance lives.
Supporting Your Favorite Cause
There are many features on Facebook that help users reach out and share information in different ways. One of the particularly interesting tools is the Causes application. Users can easily add this feature to their profile and then use it to connect to the causes that are most important to them. Some of the most popular include causes to stop global warming, fund cancer research, fight animal cruelty, and support our troops.
Once you have causes that you support, you can recruit friends to join, donate money, and raise visibility by sending messages to your network. Facebook makes it really easy for individuals to make a difference to the causes that matter the most to them. The Alliance created and supports a cause to Advance Aging Research, which you can learn more about through our Facebook page. We’re really excited about this tool and encourage you to check it out and spread the word about the importance of aging research.