On 18th May 2012, Facebook became a public listed company and its stock has begun trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Facebook priced its IPO at US$38 per share and valued the company at US$104 billion or RM325 billion. This value is even higher than Yahoo, eBay and Groupon combined. If this figure does not impressed you imagine this; with over 900 million users, if Facebook is a country, it would be the third largest country in the world after India and China. According to The Star, Facebook users in Malaysia alone reached 12 million last year. The top five Social Media channels in Malaysia according to Burson-Marsteller in 2011 are Facebook, Blogspot, Wordpress, Twitter and Metacafe with Facebook represents 75.5% of users reach.
Facebook heralded a new era of the media hence the Social Media. It represents a new way of disseminating information and content sharing. The interaction of the traditional media e.g.; Television, Radio, Newsprint have always been a one way interaction with the public being at the receiving end. Interactions can be done through this media but not on a real-time basis. Even by allowing interaction, limited freedom are given to the public as the editors or content managers of these traditional media controls what should be and what should not be printed or aired. This creates monopoly of content and some politicians or even Government use this advantage as a tool for propagating their interests to the public.
However, it is hard to appreciate the new media if you do not know the origin of the traditional media. Basically, media is known as a method of communication between people commonly used to distribute news, information and also views. The need to disseminate information was well established even when our species was living in caves. This can evidently be seen from the cave paintings and also stone manuscript. This method then evolved into other forms of disseminations such as using homing pigeons and manuscripts using bones, clay tablets and papyrus. As people develop new technology for printing, Newspaper was then created and circulated to people and it remains as the popular choice of media for sharing information up until the 21st Century besides Television and Radio. And then the Internet was born. The main reason behind the creation of the Internet is basically for connectivity between computer users. The ARPAnet, considered as the grandfather of World Wide Web was created in 1969 with the objective of connectivity and data sharing. From that simple solution, the Internet has now evolved into what is now known as Web 2.0.