Well folks it was a good run and there have been a lot of fun times along the way but I believe now is the time we write Facebook off the way of MySpace and other failed attempts at social networking.
Yes, I know that is sacrilege for the pseudo-Billion that use and abuse Facebook, however, I content they are the primary driver for making Facebook a failure. First, there are not 1 billion individual people using Facebook. I am a light “power” user of Facebook and have 5-6 accounts for a variety of reasons, 2 of which are probably considered “active”. So if you divide the billion by five, you get more like 200 million people using Facebook. Still pretty powerful numbers with a great opportunity for true social networking. So, other than promoting the A to Z Challenge, what are these 200 million avid social networkers doing?
Perhaps the one consistent stalwart of Facebook has been providing a platform for small businesses and charities to get the word out about their products and services. I doubt seriously that these translate into a lot of dollars via Facebook but a well designed Facebook presence will drive folks to the organizations web site where they can be converted into a purchasing customer. Unfortunately, Facebook has done an equally stellar job of trying to ruin this feature. Their constant platform changes that have little or no consistency leave small businesses frustrated, leave potential customers confused and drive eyeballs somewhere else for information.
Pintrest and Instagram
Got a recipe or crafting information you want to share with friends and family? Post details on Pintrest and then just link over to it from Facebook. Got that awesome photo from the family vacation or reunion? After you snap that bad boy just upload it to Instagram and link over to it from Facebook. Try doing either of those directly on Facebook and you are in for a wild ride. “But that’s OK KYRambler! We are still sharing on Facebook, right?” Yes, but Facebook is just a facilitator of communication at that point while all the critical mass is being assembled at the other platforms. Good enough for the short term, sure, but one day soon when Facebook is nothing more than an app you open to view things from other platforms, people will stop opening it as frequently.
It is like the great talent at Facebook were reading my mind they announced their “new” Facebook Home this week. I am not sure exactly home Facebook is going to convince people to alter the layout and design of their phone home screen so that people get what Facebook wants them to see instead of what they want to see. I mean, they just open one app to upload to Instagram or another to upload info to Pintrest, and then open TweetDeck and instantly post the info to Facebook and Twitter. Why put another clumsy step in the middle?
Sure, I can easily get a message out to my friends and family by posting it on Facebook, but will they see it? Seriously, with all the drivel that people are posting these days with meme cats or de-motivational posters (both of which are awesome, btw) or even worse if you have those 2-3 friends that are posting every single thing they do every single minute of every single day, and one or more of them are mutual friends with your family, chances are your message gets lost in the shuffle. If it is really important, text messaging or email still work much better and if it isn’t that important then do you really need to bother posting it on Facebook?
I am going to post what I want on my Facebook wall and if you don’t like it I don’t want you to comment that you don’t like it because it is my wall and I control what is on it. Cool story, bro, but that is not social networking, that is you setting up a place where you can vent about things, kind of like, oh, I don’t know, a Blog? 🙂 And if you are willing to un-friend someone because they don’t agree with something you posted on your Facebook wall then maybe you should not have posted it in the first place?
I don’t see Facebook folding up their tent any time soon. The folks at Facebook haven’t given up yet and keep pushing out solutions like Facebook Home to try and keep things relevant. But I believe the countdown to ambiguity has started.