Putting aside Robert Scoble’s woe-is-me troubles with Facebook, one thing I’ve wondered about recently is whether Facebook is losing its cachet even as the number of registered users edges close to 60 million.
BusinessWeek, for example, cited Facebook Fatigue as one of “Ten Likely Events in 2008″.
“Social network fatigue will set in as people tire of getting yet another invitation from so-called friends to join yet another social network. And, in the wake of Facebook’s fumbled social ads initiative, it will become even more apparent there’s no obvious way to pitch products on these sites without turning off members. Social features will wend their way into all kinds of Web services, from search to news, but the gold rush in social networks themselves will begin to wane.”
Meanwhile, high-profile bloggers such as Loren Feldman have decided to walk away from Facebook, while Hugh MacLeod was thinking about “axing” Facebook before he was anointed the U.K.’s Facebook King by the Guardian. Personally, Facebook seems less interesting. I visit less often, and the only two things I find really useful are the e-mail and status components.
So what’s going on, and does is suggest anything other than the people who embraced Facebook early have just grown tired of it, and moved on to the next exciting thing – be it Twitter, Seesmic, etc.?
It probably means nothing. It’s likely just a sign that Facebook has moved into the mainstream while those ahead of the pack are already ready to move on. Still, it’s interesting to watch people actually get off the Facebook bandwagon given everyone was so enthusiastic about it not so long ago. Question: what happens to all your Facebook data once you decide to leave. If you kill your profile, does your data disappear too or does does it stay alive somewhere in the bowels of Facebook?
More: Speaking of social network fatigue, has anyone else been getting Plaxo Plus and Spock invitations? The last thing I need is being a member of another social network.