Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Is it over for Facebook?

Fortune: Unflattering Eulogy For Facebook
The early death of Facebook has been forecast, following widespread criticism and a backlash from its own customers over a new advertising system. If Facebook's not careful, a rival is bound to come along and finish it off. It's a first in the annals of fast-rising tech companies that fail.

The funny thing is: the site is attracting more users than ever before and has all but solidified itself as the Web media darling of 2007. However, the majority of its 60 million-plus users are no doubt unaware of the privacy invasion nightmare that is the Beacon advertising system.

Facebook may have changed the peer recommendation system to opt-in, but Beacon still tracks people's Web surfing habits -- even when they're not on Facebook. And if user backlash doesn't undo Zuckerberg's social empire, then whatever's next certainly will. Delphi's errors begat Prodigy and its errors begat AOL, which was crushed by the Web. Facebook's notoriously bad PR will only accelerate its inevitable downfall.

Facebook has the life of a bad slutty over-acting actress on Bold and The Beautiful.
One day the Facebook is great, the media darling. The next they have problems and fix themselves up, bowing to public pressure. By the end of the season, the gossip mags are envisioning Facebook's demise!

Just look at her!

In all honesty, I don't care. Something else will happen next week. And if I miss whatever happens next week and come back in 2 weeks, I won't have actually missed anything. Because just like a bad soap opera, even though things happen, every scenario seems to be a rumour or nothing and we're back to the beginning again. Thank you Brooke Forrester for educating me to the world of bad soap operas.

The fact of the matter is that users will remain on the social network where all their friends are. Unless some great new network comes on the scene and everyone migrates, Facebook will have something to worry about. But, knowing people, they are lazy, I can't imagine mass migration happening to a network with vastly similar features. Maybe in 20 years it could, but not today.

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