Facebook a verb? That’s what’s happenin’

Picture 3Facebook has done more than garner the top spot among social network sites. It’s achieved a higher level of accomplishment: Like Google, it’s a mainstream verb.

In the 90 minutes it took me to wake up, get dressed and drive into work yesterday morning, I counted nine instances when local TV hosts invited viewers or local radio hosts invited listeners to ‘Facebook’ them.

All before 7:30 am.

These days you’re more likely to be ‘Facebooked’ than ‘Googled.’ Facebook now has more than 267 million users — with nearly 83 million (31 percent) in the United States. 42 percent of Facebook users are male. 58 percent of Facebook users are female. And, everyone is ‘Facebooking’ the hell out of each other.

Here are some recent reactions to the ‘verbalization’ of Facebook that I observed on Twitter:

  • @mparka “google it” or “I’ll Facebook you”. hear this in subway as comments made by people in conversation. Becoming a Verb is success measurement?
  • @kdelany Girl on bus used Facebook as a verb.
  • @crazyasianpiano Facebook is now considered a verb
  • @meigwilym ‘facebook’ is not a verb
  • @edwardhill, I prefer to think of facebook as a verb not a noun.
  • @ItsOnAlexa I’m doing what every other teenager does… Facebooking. I don’t even think that’s a verb…
  • @matt_perez OMG, @AnitaPerez said “facebook” as a verb. “Facebook him,” she said! Cosmic.

Although it hasn’t made its way into Merriam-Webster’s official tome yet, it’s only a matter of time… The word ‘facebook’ has been in the Merriam-Webster’s Open Dictionary for years: (verb). It means checking out your Facebook.com profile or your friends’ Facebook.com profile. I was facebooking my friends profiles.

Becoming a verb is a mixed blessing for Facebook: On the upside, it means that the website has gone become an integral part of our culture.  On the downside, it means that Facebook will have to work diligently to retain its trademark.

Either way, it fascinates me.

Credits: Image and photo courtesy of Schoolhouse Rock. The video first aired in 1974.