“Perhaps never has there been a lamer misunderstanding of social interaction. . . “

. . . than Facebook.

Glynn Marshes writes:

Michael Wolffe, in USA Today, argues that Facebook will inevitably splinter as people peel off to join other social media services — services set up to reinforce exclusivity and eliminate “the Facebook dross and cacophony.”

Not only is Facebook challenged by its inability to grow advertising revenue fast enough — the primary culprit in its 50% share-price plunge — but now it’s facing a carve-up of the social experience.

This is not just by the high-fliers in its space, Twitter and Linkedin — themselves in danger of fragmentation — but by an ever-growing assortment of specialty players.

He goes on to list several of them.

It will be interesting to see if he’s right. I could see myself being tempted away from Facebook if the right alternative presented itself. Could you?

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5 Responses to “Perhaps never has there been a lamer misunderstanding of social interaction. . . “

  1. anonymous says:

    a. part of the draw of facebook is that you get to show off your (real or cultivated) cool high status lifestyle to a whole lot of different people (like your friends from middle school you don’t talk to anymore), it doesn’t really work if you are in a niche site with people who are all basically the same as you

    b. the primary culprit of facebook’s share price drop was they set the IPO price really high in order to rip people off

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  2. Glynn Marshes says:

    Mark Z, is that you???? 😀

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  3. Fenster says:

    Here’s a link to a Boston Globe article that touches on this point.

    Gist: people find it uncomfortable to have to listen to friend’s express their political preferences, and are doing things to tune them out. Facebook has ways of tamping down the incessant chatter from people you’d like to listen to less, but it is at heart a big tent by design. The article suggests that some folks might feel better in a niche world where they fancy themselves surrounded by a friendly, affirming cloud.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/10/07/facebook-and-politics-perhaps-friends-shouldn-read-friends-posts/x60FiFoPkpNovwOp5tXCFK/story.html

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  4. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Facebook has the eBay advantage — everyone is using it. Since the site depends on everyone using it, it’s hard for people to make the break, because all the alternatives seem like downgrades. People used to complain that eBay had a bunch of problems, and that it would be easy for another auction site to come along and knock them off their pedestal. But even though Yahoo and Amazon came up with arguably better services, they didn’t really catch on — because everyone was already using eBay. Why list something on Amazon auctions when you’ll get less views than you would on eBay? The views were more important than better management capabilities, larger photos, or whatever.

    Of course, eBay has lost some steam over the years, but they still haven’t been supplanted as the one and only giant auction site.

    Where this analogy breaks down is in the area of revenue. eBay is a money-making machine. Facebook is just a free discussion board. Still, the functionality of both is very dependent on the pool of users.

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  5. I’d drop FB for another social-networking site (I like Google+) in the blink of an eye … if only all my friends would too. That’s hard to orchestrate, though.

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