Shrinking The Size of the Web into Facebook.

The web is a vast array of websites, social networks, applications and many other things. Quite simply, it’s like a gigantic solar system with planets being websites interspersed with comets, asteroids and an occasional sun. But all of that has pretty much changed with Facebook. Sure, Facebook isn’t the first social network out there, nor will it likely be the last. But it seems to have come at the most opportune time when not only the technology industry, but also mainstream media and even businesses all recognize the growing importance of social media and equate it partially to Facebook.

To me, it seems as if Facebook has inadvertantly created its own ecosystem – a micro-chasm of the World Wide Web and is containing it all on the web. It has all the features of what people do online – you can advertise your brand or product, able to do online shopping, conduct searches, set up a pseudo-“homepage” for your company or for yourself and include any and all relevant information and even communicate with other people. So why aren’t we surprised that Facebook’s network has become the web in of itself?

Back in the 90s when people were prone to wanting homepages set up on the Internet, these days the same homepages are being included on Facebook as fan pages or even profile pages. With vanity URLs (eg facebook.com/kenyeung), you’re able to give friends, family and strangers access into your world and even have them connect with you. It’s a smorgasbord of businesses and individuals that helped create Facebook as a virtual marketplace and continues to have it grow.

Just look at how much you’ve become addicted to using Facebook. You’re always checking out your friends and other people’s profile pages, becoming fans with businesses, checking out photos that people post in albums, or even just setting up an event and inviting people. The community and the civilization online has decided to cram itself from a global environment into this smaller niche one that continues to foster with more active participants. To help supplement this, people are starting to build applications and have their own websites link with this social network. Look at the widgets and other things that are using Facebook Connect – just so people can have their information linked up with it.

So what else lies in store for Facebook? It’s captured the attention like Myspace has never had. It’s become quite successful that everyone is paying attention to it, but it’s become enormously popular and gigantic that it has taken a life of its own. How do you feel about Facebook becoming nothing more than a replacement for the World Wide Web?

Should we be calling it Facebook Wide Web instead?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."