Internet based social media platforms started off as another way for people to keep in contact that was more fluid and easier to use than email. Very soon after business owners realised the value of anthropomorphising their businesses and listing them online with a profile as though they were a human entity. Theres obvious benefits such as added exposure, its inexpensive (or in most cases free), and as an online form of word of mouth, anything that a customer or fan of a business or organisation listed online is seen by all their 'friends'. The last point however is a double edged sword because if a business has delivered a poor product or service, customers with smart phones can instantaneously shame you to up their immediate friendship circle (a maximum of 5000 on Facebook) and if the comment or post is public, its able to be seen and searched by anyone with an internet connection, which makes businesses more accountable than ever.
Beechworth Bakery's service is obscenely questionable: WTF
Art Gallerys are quickly jumping on the bandwagon. Yesterday, the National Gallery of Victoria was all smiles because they hit 7000 fans and posted thankyous and a link to an equally bright artwork (one from their own collection).
This is progress. I like being able to view different gallerys profiles so easily, checking events, timings for performances, lectures or openings, is easier than clicking through a bunch of hyperlinks on a website. Its more humanising and descriptively comparable to 'having a conversation', as opposed to checking a timetable or schedule.