Today, Startup Review posted a great case study of Facebook, one of my favorite Web 2.0 companies. One thing that has always impressed me about facebook is the trust they have built with users. The case study talks ends its article with this paragraph-

Finally, we can learn a lot from Facebook by how they built initial trust between users and their service. While these days it is easy to build a consumer Internet product, establishing trust with users is not. As an entrepreneur, how quickly you can establish trust with your users can be a critical success factor. Facebook built immediate trust via the home page by showing only a select few colleges as being open to registration. Coupled with the registration process, users immediately understood that the site was exclusively for use by college students. This made them feel comfortable disclosing information that people normally wouldn’t post on the Internet. Simple, but very powerful. Facebook does give users control over the information displayed on their profile and to whom it is displayed, but only a small percentage of users actually change the default settings. Thus, the key part of the trust equation is not features, but branding and messaging about the service and who uses it.

In my opinion, user control is essential to any online community and Facebook has built one of the most engaged communities on the web due to emphasizing this issue (yes- they have made mistakes along the way).

The post also mentions that Facebook may bring in $200 million in 2007 revenue- which amazes me. I really believe, given some time, this site is going to overtake myspace.