What started out as a social media site intended for Harvard students -- Facebook -- has quickly escalated to becoming the world's leading social networking site for users of all ages. As new networking sites are introduced and the faults of Facebook are continually exposed, the popularity of the site is in question.
A recent CNBC poll found that "59 percent of respondents said that they have little to no trust in Facebook to keep their information private." The uncensored sharing of its users' private information and other defects have led to accusations that Facebook is a "technocracy" that is only interested in the business and technological aspects of the site.
Despite such accusations, Facebook remains on top.
Facebook originated in the college scene, and some college students say they have remained loyal despite its flaws.
Emily Klein, a Pleasanton resident and sophomore at Brown University in Providence, R.I., uses her Facebook more often than her Twitter account.
"I have a lot more friends on Facebook," she said. "I think it's a lot more popular than other sites because it has more features to connect and stay in touch with your friends."
"Facebook gives you the chance to see what people are up to in the grand scheme of things," agreed Kyle Suchland, a Pleasanton resident and student at Los Positas Community College. "On Facebook you can see where they work, where they attend school, and what they have been doing. While Twitter and sites alike only provide a 'this is what is on my mind' status, Facebook is more of a social networking site."
"Facebook allows you to actually see what people are up to," said Ashley Moreno, a Pleasanton resident and junior at San Jose State University, who prefers Facebook to other sites. "It's a great way to stay in contact with my friends and family who I don't see very often."
Although some would argue that Facebook has lost popularity due to its "technocratic" approach, college students seem to be using the site regardless. The personal options that provide an accessible way to stay connected with friends and family from afar keep the college student loyal.
"A lot of people go out of state for school and Facebook is a good way to stay connected," said Marina Pomar-Enders, a senior at Seattle University. "You have the unique opportunity to share your experiences with others no matter where they are."
If it isn't the personal connections maintained through Facebook that keeps college students hooked, it's the shear entertainment the site provides.
"Facebook is a great way to procrastinate," laughed Jaclyn Strom, a Pleasanton resident and sophomore at Cal Poly. "I use it to entertain myself when I'm bored."