Facebook slowdown - Anecdotal perspective

SAI has a college person reporting on why facebook growth is slowing. It's just another person's opinion and doesn't add anything new, but it sounds right and pretty much squares with my experience.

Facebook's new mass-market appeal has eliminated its niche appeal. Facebook simultaneously has begun to lose its novelty for some of the first-generation users and to drive them away with the same features that are meant to attract them.

Personally, I use Facebook a lot less than I did as a freshman. I haven't added any of the new applications, and for the most part, neither have my friends. SAI reported that the average Facebook user comes back to the site less often and stays around for shorter periods of time, and that correlates exactly with my experience.

If I get an e-mail notification that someone has added a photo of me or written on my wall, I'll go on for a minute to check it out, and then log off. I used to go on Facebook to procrastinate, and now I usually go on for a specific, short-term purpose. I wouldn't go so far as to delete my account, though (although I'm glad it's finally possible to do so); being a member is still a necessity in college.
If the platform were a little bit more flexible, I think I'd probably use facebook for everything that I do with this blog. It has a huge built-in advantage, in that it's built to constantly update my friends on what I'm doing.

Unfortunately, there are just some issues that I can't get around. The biggest is access control. There are totally random people connected to me on facebook, and I just don't want all of them to have access to everything that I write. Roger Ehrenberg wrote something way back when about wanting the ability to have three different profiles, one for friends, family, and colleagues that I think is more or less what I want. Although, I'd probably shift colleagues to acquaintances and just be as MECE as possible. In any case, it would be interesting to see the data and figure out what's actually going on up at facebook.



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