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When will Facebook be that old thing of the past?

January 8, 2010

We have seen how Myspace and Orkut came, got everyone excited and then that enthusiasm faded away. It is fairly reasonable to assume that other social networking websites such as Facebook will face a similar fate. In my view the reasons are simple for that:

  1. These sites could not keep the excitement alive. The new features of a site will only prolong the excitement for so long. What I mean by that is it becomes part of our life and it gets boring after a while if you are not getting much value out of it. People want to be part of something special.
  2. Many people using these sites are not social and they were doing it because everyone around them was doing it so that peer pressure kicked. After a while they start feeling “I don’t care”.
  3. You can meet people back from your high school days, great!! NOT. We add them and get excited about talking with them and then realize wow there was a good reason I didn’t talk to them for so long.
  4. Oh great!! I can play games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille now mentality goes pretty quick if no one participates in that game with you.
  5. The attention span and “Care” window of people is very small these days and if the next best thing catches their attention they’ll leave their current social networking site pretty soon. And yes the next best thing is exciting for us as we are more loyal to being social than using just that site for accomplishing our goal.
  6. The concept of social belonging on media changes when we realize it’s not important for us on how long two people have known each other rather its more about if we have things in common and how much can we engage each other.

I ask myself these questions when thinking about facebook. How many of Facebook’s early adopter still actively use it and not just send in their twitter feeds? How many of the new sign ups on facebook are people who were late adopters of technology in general and what’s their retention span in the past?

The user based content depends on the content, quality of people in your network and “Purpose” of those users in using that social networking website. Yes content, quality of users and purpose leads to something beyond just excitement, is far more engaging and long lasting. This is the reason I don’t mention Twitter having a similar fate in the near future is because they have done this right.  That’s not to say that twitter will never be that old thing.

You decide!!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 11:01 AM

    Interesting take, Nitin. I respectfully disagree for a sole reason that people use facebook for different purposes. I get what you’re saying and in that you make a valid point. However, for example I have many friends from all over the world that I connect with on Facebook. Due to my work schedule and the time difference it is hard to catch them online on any IM.
    I think it is crucial to understand that facebook can be used by different people for different purposes. Those who get tired of facebook will get tired of Twitter someday, I have no doubt about that.

    Thanks for an interesting post though!

    • January 8, 2010 12:34 PM

      Eldar thanks for your comment. I understand what you are saying but the idea here is that whatever you do on Facebook doesn’t mean that people have loyalty to Facebook. Some company with a better software and features can come in and take that market share. The only motivation for retention as mentioned in the blog might be quality user content.

      • Eldar Dzhafarov permalink
        January 8, 2010 1:59 PM

        I see. Yes that makes sense. Well, I guess the time will tell.

  2. January 8, 2010 11:05 AM

    I’m giving it 3 years. Just like Myspace, they will have to evolve or someone will come up with something better.

    At least if that happens they can still live large by selling all of the dirt they’ve been collecting on us.

    • January 8, 2010 12:35 PM

      I agree with you on that Brenda. Thanks for the comment. Whats difficult for these companies is to develop a brand loyalty which is hard with so low barriers to entry in this business.

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