Decline in Facebook Users Prompts Questions Of Longevity
“Ok,” I thought to myself, “I’ll give it a second or two more and see where he’s going with this”.
To my delight he pointed straight to one of my own personal annoyances with Facebook: News Feed Spam.
Obviously, Facebook is not Myspace — but they are similar enough that they suffer from similar problems. Usership of Myspace began to drop drastically as spam began to rise. I personally stopped using it because i got sick to death of my inbox being filled up every couple hours with messages like “We think you’d really like our band”, etc. That and the insane abuse of HTML pretty much made it utterly loathsome to visit the site. Facebook is starting to suffer the same thing in a different form.
Is Invasive Facebook Marketing To Blame?
I’m sure by now we all know that Facebook is one of the world’s biggest marketing research tool. It is superbly invasive and practically no one is catching on to that. Ever notice how the suggestions for things to like now change based on the words in your status updates? Perhaps you’ve been suckered into “Liking” one of these suggestions and now your news feed is overrun with updates that in no way relate to you. That’s sure to be off-putting, especially to casual users.
We then have to wonder if Facebook will allow these sort of actions to continue. They are undoubtedly making a lot of profit from these sort of functions (no doubt any user data gleaned would be invaluable to marketing and advertising companies). Between this sort of invasiveness and its deviation from its original goal (to network and to share things like pictures, moments, memories, etc.) the decline in users might signify that Facebook is moving into a plateau period where, if they make the wrong decisions, they could set themselves up for a collapse similar to Myspace where the benefits of the site were outweighed by the encumbrances.
Will Facebook Be Surpassed In the Near Future?
Is this where a new (and perhaps better) social networking site steps in? The universality of Facebook is its greatest strength. It appeals to casual users, niche users, young, old, businesses and more. It has become a major hub of society and a major part of pop culture (in a way that Myspace never quite achieved). Is this a case of a “Too Big To Fail” website? As Google works tirelessly to integrate their products into their social media platform and new social sites spring up all around, we have to wonder what is the extent of Facebook’s control of the social media space?