Not sure about you but I’m getting a bad case of Facebook-itis. Everywhere you turn, it’s Facebook that and/or Facebook this.
For example, a U.S. judge is apparently going to decide this week whether to grant an injunction related to three ex-Harvard students who allege Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea when he was hired to do some programming for their social networking service a few years ago. There was another item in yesterday’s paper about a “white knight” in Cambridge, Ont., who successfully worked to have a group removed from Facebook that was aimed at a troubled street woman. And yet another column about someone’s father found himself hooked on Facebook after trying to ignore it.
Then, there’s the constant friendship requests….and people recommending new applications…and Facebook buying start-ups….and venture capitalists thinking about investing in start-ups developing Facebook applications….and whether Facebook will be acquired for $10-billion or do an IPO.
Sure, Facebook (or FB as the cool kids apparently call it now) is a super-popular service and certainly enjoying more than its 15 minutes of fame. But how much Facebook is enough?
This may be an off-the-mark thesis but I think Facebook’s popularity has crested. I’m not suggesting it’s going to be Friendster-rized (hot and trendy today; popular only in Brazil and parts of Asia tomorrow) but Facebook has reached that point where it doesn’t seem that cool or in anymore.
We’ve arrived at a fork in the road where Facebook’s ongoing success/popularity will depend on how useful it continues to be. Maybe Facebook’s user-friendly interface will keep it at the top of the heap, and maybe all those Facebook Apps will make the platform more useful beyond collecting friends.
Then again, online users are notoriously fickle so maybe Facebook should go public or do an IPO before the cool kids discover another hot social networking service down the street – leaving Facebook and wunderkind CEO Mark Zuckerberg wondering what happened.
Of course, I could be completely, totally wrong but when it comes to me and Facebook, I’ve lost that loving feeling.
For more on Facebook Fatigue, check out Alx Klive’s WorldTV Blog. Like me, he argues the biggest threat to Facebook and social networking sites is “fashion”. “Social networking sites by their very nature are trend based. They can be fashionable for a bit, but after a while a new one comes along which is cooler. Switching between two social networking applications is becoming a right of passage….”
Update: Interesting to see that Jason Calcanis has declared Facebook Bankruptcy.
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