The following article, “Shedding Light on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook?,” is written by Simra Batool, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
Facebook – a global social networking website, an application, and a web page – has become the most widely used online social media platform as a source of entertainment, business, and learning around the globe. It has a number of advantages, such as online business, virtual learning, and video hosting, and disadvantages, including privacy concerns, time consumption, and fake profiles.
2- Current scenario of Facebook usage worldwide
- ✓It is the most used online social media platform worldwide.
- ✓Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all the major social media platforms have witnessed an average increase in daily usage.
- ✓Facebook had 2.989 billion monthly active users in April 2023, placing it first in the ranking of the world’s most active social media platforms, according to Statista, marking a marginal 0.88 per cent increase from the previous quarter and a 1.81 per cent year-over-year rise.
3- Advantages of Facebook
- ✓Online business set-up
- According to the Word Stream Study, Facebook ads get an average Click-through Rate (CTR) of 0.90 per cent across all industries, seeing a fairly high conversion rate for ads up to 9.21 per cent on the platform.
- ✓A learning Management System (LMS)
- According to a think tank, the educational potential of Facebook groups and pages works in terms of supporting peer-to-peer learning between students.
- ✓Reliable for image and video hosting
- According to GovLab’s report findings, more than 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups every month, and more than half of all users are in five or more groups.
- ✓A source of News and information
- According to the Digital News Report 2023, 28 per cent of people have accessed News through Facebook in 2023.
4- Disadvantages of Facebook
- ✓Time-consuming, especially for the Young Generation
- According to Statista, Americans have spent an average of 33 minutes on Facebook per day in 2022. Apart from that, Facebook text and video chat are two other time-consuming features.
- ✓Facebook Privacy Concerns
- Facebook uses user information to develop, test and improve products. The data gathering techniques, according to Meta, include conducting surveys and research and testing and troubleshooting new products and features.
- ✓Lacking the authenticity of News
- Facebook is the worst perpetrator when it comes to spreading fake News. It is worse than Google, Twitter, and webmail providers like AOL, Yahoo!, and Gmail – A new study published in the journal “Nature”.
- ✓No Check on the Fake Facebook Profiles Creation
- In 2022, out of its 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook estimates that 140 million (almost 5 per cent) are fake accounts, and the social network claims to take down 7.8 million fake profiles a day.
5- Critical Analysis
Answer to the Question
Social media – a computer-based technology – is an essential constituent of the contemporary world. Since it allows the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and information through virtual networks in a safe and secure environment, it is hard to find a person with no social media profile. According to the Pew Research Center, ninety per cent of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine use at least one form of social media. Among several networking websites, Facebook, a global social network, an application, and a web page, has become the most widely used online social media platform as a source of entertainment around the globe. According to Statista, Facebook is the third most visited website, following Google and YouTube. This puts it ahead of other leading platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Nothing is perfect in this world; in the same manner, Facebook shares a number of advantages as well as disadvantages. Advantages include online business, virtual learning, and image and video hosting; on the other hand, the disadvantages include privacy concerns, time consumption, and fake profile creation. To conclude, although Facebook has a number of disadvantages, it has played a crucial role in connecting people worldwide, along with helping out immense advances in the business industry and strengthening countries socially, politically, and, above all, economically.
Current scenario of Facebook usage worldwide
Currently, Facebook has become the most used online platform worldwide as anyone can access it using a smartphone. It undoubtedly provides its users with entertainment online and virtual learning opportunities. Facebook had 2.989 billion monthly active users in April 2023, placing it first in the ranking of the world’s most active social media platforms, according to Statista, marking a marginal 0.88 per cent increase from the previous quarter and a 1.81 per cent year-over-year rise. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Facebook has witnessed an average increase in daily usage. As it overcomes border barriers between countries, many people from different countries can easily communicate and share their cultural values, riots, and customs. Although Facebook has been created for entertainment purposes, it not only provides entertainment but also helps in business and marketing. It has also become an essential element to meet contemporary business and learning needs.
Advantages of Facebook
Online business set-up
The first and foremost advantage of Facebook is that it encourages people to connect for an up-rise in the business; consequently, a large number of people use Facebook for marketing purposes. According to the Word Stream Study, Facebook ads get an average Click-through Rate (CTR) of 0.90 per cent across all industries, seeing a fairly high conversion rate for ads of up to 9.21 per cent on the platform. Business holders and clients use Facebook to get the desired goods or services. Moreover, Facebook has introduced a business profile feature where things can be listed, making it easy for customers to reach the desired shop and buy things or services online. Thus, following several online marketers – such as Fiverr and Upwork – Facebook has also become a business tool and connects a number of businessmen and clients.
A Learning Management System (LMS)
Second, Facebook has been working as an LMS for many educational and vocational training institutions. Although Facebook was not originally created for educational purposes, it could be used as a virtual environment for discussions and knowledge sharing. According to a think tank, the educational potential of Facebook groups and pages works in terms of supporting peer-to-peer learning between students. During COVID-19, Facebook has also helped to communicate with many students and teachers, maintaining the standard of institutions. Furthermore, it assists students in virtual study by creating groups, messenger rooms, and Facebook pages. Hence, students could utilize Facebook for learning purposes, along with entertainment.
Reliable for image and video hosting
Third, after Mainstream Media, Google, and YouTube, Facebook is now a reliable source for image and video hosting. In fact, a number of celebrities, social media influencers, and vocational trainers prefer using Facebook for their live programs. According to GovLab’s report findings, more than 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups every month, and more than half of all users are in five or more groups. Due to a large number of peopleusing Facebook groups and visiting different pages on a daily basis, influencers target Facebook audiences through image and video hosting for marketing and advertising purposes.
A source of News and information
Fourth, Facebook is playing an increasingly significant role in the distribution of News and information. Most of the people, in fact, find it suitable to access Facebook news through smartphones. According to the Digital News Report 2023, 28 per cent of people have accessed News through Facebook in 2023. Thus,social media – especially Facebook- has emerged as a leading source of news among online Asian and African countries users who progressively prefer to access it on their smartphones, highlighting Facebook as an important source of news and information.
Disadvantages of Facebook
Time-consuming, especially for the young generation
Despite all the advantages, Facebook has several demerits. First, of all the disadvantages, one of the major demerits is that it consumes a lot of time as it offers many entertainment applications and games, which engage users to a great extent. According to Statista, Americans have spent an average of 33 minutes on Facebook per day in 2022. Apart from that, Facebook text and video chat are two other time-consuming features. Moreover, facebook’s audience generally consists of young people, especially students; nevertheless, to use Facebook for advantage, seta time limit. Spending too much time on Facebook might make a person a Facebook addict, ending up wasting too much time.
Facebook privacy concerns
Second, Facebook collects all the information a person shares on the profile; for instance, it includes the location, interests, and other applications on the mobile phone. Once the information goes online, the information holder loses control over it. Facebook uses the information to develop, test, and improve our products, including by conducting surveys, research, testing, and troubleshooting new products and features. Facebook uses the collected data to provide users with accurate results, but online information must be shared judiciously. Nonetheless, the simplest solution is to avoid sharing too much personal information on Facebook, along with other social media platforms.
Lacking the authenticity of News
Third, another major drawback of Facebook is that it undoubtedly lacks authenticity in the News. Random people keep sharing unverified News, posts, and videos consisting of biased views of different political, religious, and ideological parties to spread violence, anarchy, and polarization in the general public. One must, however, be rational to differentiate between the news and propaganda and keep an eye on everything so that no one can shape his opinion through any fake news. A new study published in the journal “Nature” states that Facebook is the worst perpetrator when it comes to spreading fake News. It is worse than Google, Twitter, and webmail providers like AOL, Yahoo!, and Gmail.
No check on the fake Facebook profile creation
Last but not least, Facebook is full of fake profiles. Moreover, many stockists and marketers create fake profiles to get more followers and more sales since there is no limit on the number of profiles a person can create. In 2022, out of its 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook estimates that 140 million (almost 5 per cent) are fake accounts, and the social network claims to take down 7.8 million fake profiles a day. Therefore, it has become difficult to identify the real person behind a profile, and there are chances that if the Facebook team do not check the number of profiles created, the platform will lose its authenticity.
In a critical analysis, Facebook has robbed the future of millions, making the young generation addicted to it. As a result, students’ performance has become poor; to illustrate, their critical thinking approach has been destroyed. This has worked as an iconoclast, demolishing the socio-economic and political progress worldwide. However, there is a huge room for improvement if Facebook could be used only for useful purposes, such as entertainment, business, and education, keeping in mind that one must not get addicted to it. Additionally, people must be properly trained and educated to differentiate between right and wrong and save their precious time. In short, effective usage of Facebook, along with the careful uploading of personal information, is the key to putting people on track for inestimable development socially, politically, and, above all, economically.
To conclude the whole debate, it has been deduced that the advantages of Facebook dominate its disadvantages. Facebook plays a crucial role in helping a country march towards transcendent development through education and business opportunities. Moreover, it has the power to highlight social wrongdoings and ensure accountability. As an illustration, in 2019, the world’s outlook on Pakistan, from terrorism to tourism, has been the fruit of social media, especially through Facebook campaigns. Contrarily, Facebook has a number of disadvantages, which include its overuse and addiction, along with the spread of information without authenticity. Although it provides virtual entertainment and opportunities to a greater extent, it should present authentic information to the audience.
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