The problem is that these websites try to be “All things to all people.” But unfortunately, business isn’t always like that. The secret to a successful business is in niche markets. Its the same for music, art, poetry, car manufacturers, friendships, etc.
“If you try to please everyone – you please no one.”
Here is how my Facebook page looked the other day. Links, Pictures, Links, Ads, Updates, blah!
So will Facebook die?
The short answer is No… at least not yet. But I don’t use Facebook like I used to anymore. I go on once a week. I go on Myspace once a month. But I use Twitter every. single. day. Facebook has so far failed on several accounts:
1.) Facebook has an identity problem. Ever since Twitter rejected their buyout referenced to be $500 million dollars, Facebook has tried to copy Twitter’s status update features, and please everyone. I now only use Facebook to send emails to friend, make events, and maybe look at a picture or two.
2.) Facebook’s Copyright crisis. This destroys your brand, and ultimately your community. Owning content is something people don’t want other’s to have control over. Its been proven this destroys Music Bands, artists, and generates self-publishers.
3.) Ads in your face. We understand you have to monetize, but there are non obtrusive ways to do it. Facebook takes longer to load now because the ads and pictures, etc. I can’t navigate it anymore, and I can’t find links I thought were easily found in the past.
4.) Social Networking is so 2008. This is an interesting thing to mention. I look at how new social sites are destroying the traditional model. Looking at Friendster, Myspace, Twitter, Ning, Facebook, Plurk, Linkedin, Virb, Flickr, etc. and I generally don’t use any of them anymore… except Twitter (which has replaced my business card, email, Facebook, flickr, and more)
5.) Be your biggest fan. You have to be a voice amongst the community. Myspace Tom and Twitter Ev did it right. They were a part of their networks. They were the face of their community. But I don’t get that from Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook. I don’t get that from any of these websites. You have to build trust, create a sharp direct niche market, and listen to the people who helped build up the service in the first place.
Facebook still has yet to monetize, where as Twitter has several options for itself to be successful. The secret to Twitter is in its’ search feature, which will soon function similar but more specific than Google’s search. But maybe Twitter even uses Adwords to monetize – only time will tell.
Facebook is an amazing service – they just have growing pains. So will Facebook go the way of MySpace? Well, “All things rise and all things fall.” Its only a matter of when, and how far. What do you think?