Monday, September 26, 2011

The Way of MySpace?

The recent changes to Facebook has been, as changes to Facebook usually are, almost universally reviled by Facebook's user base. People can't agree on politics, or music, or religion, but everyone can seem to agree – leave Facebook alone.

Why, then, has Facebook not experienced anything more than good-natured complaining? Other social networking options like the much-hyped Google+ have sprung up, and Facebook's own usurption of Myspace's users proves the transient nature of popularity on the Internet. Yet Facebook remains a juggernaut; with more users by the day, it remains the top social networking site on the Internet.

Facebook's initial advantage that gave it the edge over the doomed Myspace was its accessibility and streamlined setup; it was easier, more linked together, and gave more options. Yet the new changes to Facebook, in which you can see your friends' recent activity on the right side of the page, seem only to clutter the setup; and the universally hated new chat, in which Facebook tells you who's online based on who it thinks you want to talk to most, does the same. The main question remains, then, why Facebook has managed to hold its crown. People certainly aren't scared to leave one social network for another en masse.

Facebook had better watch out. Google has an astounding track record in terms of success in different types of Internet services, and anyone who's seen their takeover of web browsing and e-mail wouldn't underestimate their ability to dominate social networking as well. If people see Google+ as doing to Facebook what Facebook once did to Myspace--providing an easier and simpler alternative—Mark Zuckerberg's reign as the top dog in the social networking world may come to an end.

No comments: