The other day, I was biking up the Bathurst hill and I passed the Telus billboard advertising Facebook mobile on their phones for the upteenth time. Fun fact: Rogers was the first to advertise their Facebook mobile service, followed by Bell and Telus.
The billboard reminded me of sign I saw on the window of the women’s clothing store Smart Set at the Eaton Centre earlier in the week. It had a Facebook logo and was advertising some new fashion cubes application, where you can compete with your friends about who has the best fashion, or something equally ridiculous. I was taken by the “Add Smart Set Fashion Cubes to your applications!” that was under the Facebook logo. I think that was the first time I’ve seen such technical language on the outside of a women’s clothing store. It’s still super gendered (compete with your friends to see who is the hottest), but really, is anyone surprised? I looked out for more Facebook logos as I walked through the mall, and not surprisingly there where two more at the Bell World and Rogers stores.
But that’s not all! At the end of April, I saw a presentation at CaseCamp about the success of TD Canada Trust’s Facebook app. That same night, Bryan Segal, VP at Comscore did a presentation about the insane popularity of social media in Canada. According to Comscore, Canada is the “most penetrated country” and “we view the most content and spend the most time interacting with social media.” In this context, its not really a surprise that Toronto is madly in love with Facebook.
So, this all got me thinking. A clothing store advertising it’s Facebook app, and a bank has one too? And there are so many extra Facebook shirts in Toronto that random bike riding junk collectors are wearing them? What I’m witnessing here in Toronto is so obvious that it’s invisible to me. It’s the first time a social web service, or anything from the internet really (besides when the web itself became big and we started seeing URLs all over the place… but that’s more a protocol and less a commercial service), has become so tightly integrated into so many aspects of mainstream life. For Torontonians, Facebook is becoming the mediator for so many everyday interactions, between people and between people and companies, and its being done at level of penetration we’ve never seen before.