Is Facebook worth the hype?

Tons of really great analysis is up on my link blog of the Facebook stuff. Plus a ton of other great blogs.

Is Facebook worth the hype? Consider that in the past three weeks more people have joined Facebook than are on Second Life. Second Life has been around for years and got a ton of hype because it makes cool images to put into other media.

Even on Twitter there’s been a ton of posts tonight about folks playing with joining Facebook and Twitter.

Translation: yes.

39 thoughts on “Is Facebook worth the hype?

  1. I have to say, I’m sick unto death of social networking sites. Ning, LinkedIn, Facebook. No MySpace for me, but I’m done. There are too many ways to find me at this point.

    Of course, it’s not like I’m cancelling those accounts, or anything.

    I’m such a sheep.

  2. I have to say, I’m sick unto death of social networking sites. Ning, LinkedIn, Facebook. No MySpace for me, but I’m done. There are too many ways to find me at this point.

    Of course, it’s not like I’m cancelling those accounts, or anything.

    I’m such a sheep.

  3. Facebook is about knowing people, not meeting people.

    I think that makes it cooler. And I don’t mean that in a small way. I mean, it would be embarassing if FB was known as “the latest” way to meet people online. It’s not. It’s about communicating with the friends you already have.

    You go out, people take pictures. The next day the album’s up and you’re tagged in it. That part is fun.

    Myspace, never really interested me, and was always about very young people, IMO.

    No Facebook isn’t going away. I’m moving to the otherside of the world. Notifying people through other methods would just be annoying; notifying people by Facebook is actually very effective. I just post a note… and everyone I know will comment on it (congratulations, etc)

    I would be pretty choked if I woke up tomorrow and FB was gone, let’s put it that way.

  4. Facebook is about knowing people, not meeting people.

    I think that makes it cooler. And I don’t mean that in a small way. I mean, it would be embarassing if FB was known as “the latest” way to meet people online. It’s not. It’s about communicating with the friends you already have.

    You go out, people take pictures. The next day the album’s up and you’re tagged in it. That part is fun.

    Myspace, never really interested me, and was always about very young people, IMO.

    No Facebook isn’t going away. I’m moving to the otherside of the world. Notifying people through other methods would just be annoying; notifying people by Facebook is actually very effective. I just post a note… and everyone I know will comment on it (congratulations, etc)

    I would be pretty choked if I woke up tomorrow and FB was gone, let’s put it that way.

  5. Robert,

    It would be interesting to hear your thoughts sometime on how Facebook changes the game for new social networking sites. Will a Facebook co-launch be a must for anyone in the social networking space who’s going after the tween demographic? This new social networking as a platform approach is clearly something big.

    Jon

  6. Robert,

    It would be interesting to hear your thoughts sometime on how Facebook changes the game for new social networking sites. Will a Facebook co-launch be a must for anyone in the social networking space who’s going after the tween demographic? This new social networking as a platform approach is clearly something big.

    Jon

  7. yes, and I’m very very picky about what applications I use online. Facebook is valuable because it enables past friends, co-workers, classmates to find you.

    I don’t really use Facebook for anything besides accepting friend requests. It’s essentially provided a clean, pleasant, secure, and perhaps most importantly, private platform for connecting with people.

  8. yes, and I’m very very picky about what applications I use online. Facebook is valuable because it enables past friends, co-workers, classmates to find you.

    I don’t really use Facebook for anything besides accepting friend requests. It’s essentially provided a clean, pleasant, secure, and perhaps most importantly, private platform for connecting with people.

  9. Facebook is the new AOL? not following you on that one….

    Anyway – the sheer size and mass adoption of myspace, especially among teenagers and 20-somethings, despite its horrible interface and functionality, led me to an epifiny of sorts a couple months ago. We geeks have spent so much time in the past couple years aruging and extolling the virtues of standards (CSS 3, HTML 5, whatever), elegant design, AJAX, Web 2.0, blah blah blah. But you know what? NOBODY ELSE CARES!! The myspace explosion has proved this. I’ve literally stood behind teenage cousins of mine while they were using myspace and asked them about what they were doing any why – “why did you have to click through 3 pages just to get to your inbox, when you should have only had to click once” “why are there two ‘home’ links on the page” “how do you edit your profile picture”.

    And even though what he was doing was completely non-intuitive and was far from the optimal or best way, he didn’t care! I all of a sudden realized the vast majority of people don’t care usability, much less think about how to make things better. People will simply figure out how to use a site or function, then just keep doing it that way, not being bothered about how to make it better or what’s wrong.

  10. Facebook is the new AOL? not following you on that one….

    Anyway – the sheer size and mass adoption of myspace, especially among teenagers and 20-somethings, despite its horrible interface and functionality, led me to an epifiny of sorts a couple months ago. We geeks have spent so much time in the past couple years aruging and extolling the virtues of standards (CSS 3, HTML 5, whatever), elegant design, AJAX, Web 2.0, blah blah blah. But you know what? NOBODY ELSE CARES!! The myspace explosion has proved this. I’ve literally stood behind teenage cousins of mine while they were using myspace and asked them about what they were doing any why – “why did you have to click through 3 pages just to get to your inbox, when you should have only had to click once” “why are there two ‘home’ links on the page” “how do you edit your profile picture”.

    And even though what he was doing was completely non-intuitive and was far from the optimal or best way, he didn’t care! I all of a sudden realized the vast majority of people don’t care usability, much less think about how to make things better. People will simply figure out how to use a site or function, then just keep doing it that way, not being bothered about how to make it better or what’s wrong.

  11. As somebody very familiar with Social networking I would say that Facebook is good. I would say that it’s at least worth as much as MySpace, because the profiles are real and people don’t show up there for celebrities.

    I have nothing bad to say about facebook.

  12. As somebody very familiar with Social networking I would say that Facebook is good. I would say that it’s at least worth as much as MySpace, because the profiles are real and people don’t show up there for celebrities.

    I have nothing bad to say about facebook.

  13. Well, MySpace’s horrible interface requires lots of clicking which increases pageviews… :P

    I won’t pass judgement on facebook just yet, but excessive exuberance helps mark zuckerberg and no one else.

    As for the twitter+ facebook? Whyever would that happen when facebook could just crush twitter with its larger base and a slight change to the status feature? Some of my friends already get sms subscriptions to my status.

  14. Well, MySpace’s horrible interface requires lots of clicking which increases pageviews… :P

    I won’t pass judgement on facebook just yet, but excessive exuberance helps mark zuckerberg and no one else.

    As for the twitter+ facebook? Whyever would that happen when facebook could just crush twitter with its larger base and a slight change to the status feature? Some of my friends already get sms subscriptions to my status.

  15. Facebook vs Myspace. I’ve got both, love facebook, hate MySpace.

    MySpace, like a lot of people mention above, has a REALLY ugly UI, really horried amount of spam, design, etc. The simple information overload that any myspace page presents (tons of videos, posts, images, all on ONE page, not organized at all, etc), makes it super page load intensive (think of myspace on a phone – not possible, facebook directly supports WAP and mobile browsers). Add to that, it’s really danged difficult to figure out where things are at, and it’s just one of those things I hate touching it.

    With that said, I have a friend who LOVES myspace. She says she loves the complexity and being able to add the “glitter” to her pages. I personally think she’s got no design sense, but that’s me. A lot of people seem to love the amount of overload they can do with their myspace pages. I think though in some ways, it’s like someone who’s never been outside of their hometown – they’ve no concept of what else in the world is available, what wines, what foods, etc. They’re stuck with what they’re familiar with – bad design.

    Facebook, well, I’ve complained about myspace and bad design. Facebook has overall a very simple, elegant interface. It’s not overloaded with spam and adds (though there are adds which are relevent, much like google), it’s easy to communicate with friends, it imports my blog via RSS so friends who just check facebook but don’t use RSS readers see my updates, I can see what’s going on with my friends easily, it sends me emails when I choose (myspace, still not figured out how to get that working), I’ve had 0 spam emails from Facebook, but tons of friend requests or similar that are all spam on myspace, photo album support including things like tagging friends or other stuff is easy…. well, I could go on, but Facebook is VERY beautiful in comparison to many other social sites I’ve encountered.

    SO, definitely agree with Joe – it’s got a beautiful interface ;) I’d say it’s more though about a beautiful interface to a ton of features. Myspace is a horrible interface to some features that sometimes work, but most of the time just make a page look horrible and slows down your browser.

  16. Facebook vs Myspace. I’ve got both, love facebook, hate MySpace.

    MySpace, like a lot of people mention above, has a REALLY ugly UI, really horried amount of spam, design, etc. The simple information overload that any myspace page presents (tons of videos, posts, images, all on ONE page, not organized at all, etc), makes it super page load intensive (think of myspace on a phone – not possible, facebook directly supports WAP and mobile browsers). Add to that, it’s really danged difficult to figure out where things are at, and it’s just one of those things I hate touching it.

    With that said, I have a friend who LOVES myspace. She says she loves the complexity and being able to add the “glitter” to her pages. I personally think she’s got no design sense, but that’s me. A lot of people seem to love the amount of overload they can do with their myspace pages. I think though in some ways, it’s like someone who’s never been outside of their hometown – they’ve no concept of what else in the world is available, what wines, what foods, etc. They’re stuck with what they’re familiar with – bad design.

    Facebook, well, I’ve complained about myspace and bad design. Facebook has overall a very simple, elegant interface. It’s not overloaded with spam and adds (though there are adds which are relevent, much like google), it’s easy to communicate with friends, it imports my blog via RSS so friends who just check facebook but don’t use RSS readers see my updates, I can see what’s going on with my friends easily, it sends me emails when I choose (myspace, still not figured out how to get that working), I’ve had 0 spam emails from Facebook, but tons of friend requests or similar that are all spam on myspace, photo album support including things like tagging friends or other stuff is easy…. well, I could go on, but Facebook is VERY beautiful in comparison to many other social sites I’ve encountered.

    SO, definitely agree with Joe – it’s got a beautiful interface ;) I’d say it’s more though about a beautiful interface to a ton of features. Myspace is a horrible interface to some features that sometimes work, but most of the time just make a page look horrible and slows down your browser.

  17. i begrudgingly signed up for myspace about a year ago, and I found out my reservations for not signing up until that point where well founded. It’s, in short, a POS. It’s ugly, has a HORRIBLE UI, the controls are non-intuitive, it’s full of spam and advertising, etc. I’ve signed back in only a handfull of times since then.

    Then a couple months ago, I caved in to some of my other friends and signed up for Facebook. Simply put – it’s an amazing website, if not just for the design and UI. It’s beautiful to look at, and everything functions exactly how you would expect it. I keep finding little “AJAXy goodness” features all over the place that make it so much faster and easier than MySpace. Want to update your status? It’s a simple AJAX text field. Want to share a video? It’s a small AJAX popup with a ‘To’ box fully integrated into your contact book. You write on someone elses “wall” (their own message board)? Write, press submit, and the comment is inserted via AJAX – no page refresh and having to re-navigate down to where you were. The end result of all these is the site is just plain easier and faster to use. It’s obvious the designers goal is to make the site easy to use insead of just to generate page hits, which myspace does because EVERYTHING you click on loads a new page and generates another page hit.

    @paul – Facebook isn’t “about” just writing a blog. It’s a way to stay in much more intimate contact with your friends or people in your networks. You and your friends fully interact with it, instead of a blog where you’re just talking and the interaction is from people leaving comments.

  18. i begrudgingly signed up for myspace about a year ago, and I found out my reservations for not signing up until that point where well founded. It’s, in short, a POS. It’s ugly, has a HORRIBLE UI, the controls are non-intuitive, it’s full of spam and advertising, etc. I’ve signed back in only a handfull of times since then.

    Then a couple months ago, I caved in to some of my other friends and signed up for Facebook. Simply put – it’s an amazing website, if not just for the design and UI. It’s beautiful to look at, and everything functions exactly how you would expect it. I keep finding little “AJAXy goodness” features all over the place that make it so much faster and easier than MySpace. Want to update your status? It’s a simple AJAX text field. Want to share a video? It’s a small AJAX popup with a ‘To’ box fully integrated into your contact book. You write on someone elses “wall” (their own message board)? Write, press submit, and the comment is inserted via AJAX – no page refresh and having to re-navigate down to where you were. The end result of all these is the site is just plain easier and faster to use. It’s obvious the designers goal is to make the site easy to use insead of just to generate page hits, which myspace does because EVERYTHING you click on loads a new page and generates another page hit.

    @paul – Facebook isn’t “about” just writing a blog. It’s a way to stay in much more intimate contact with your friends or people in your networks. You and your friends fully interact with it, instead of a blog where you’re just talking and the interaction is from people leaving comments.

  19. I think I just read somewhere that Beebo is actually the fastest growing social networking site, and MySpace has the heaviest flow of sns traffic.

    Facebook and MySpace are now in an official rivalry state… Facebook has recently announced it’s opening its doors, in response to Facebook users integrating their Facebook and MySpace, causing MySpace to siphon off traffic from Facebook. It will be interesting to see how that plays out though because one of the things that people like the most about Facebook is the illusion of privacy.

    I say illusion because Privacy on Facebook is only enabled at the personal level… but movement is tracked on Facebook, so how private can it really be?

    I’m on Facebook, and have noticed a flux of traffic. I’m actually conducting a survey trying to decipher patterns of use on each.

  20. I think I just read somewhere that Beebo is actually the fastest growing social networking site, and MySpace has the heaviest flow of sns traffic.

    Facebook and MySpace are now in an official rivalry state… Facebook has recently announced it’s opening its doors, in response to Facebook users integrating their Facebook and MySpace, causing MySpace to siphon off traffic from Facebook. It will be interesting to see how that plays out though because one of the things that people like the most about Facebook is the illusion of privacy.

    I say illusion because Privacy on Facebook is only enabled at the personal level… but movement is tracked on Facebook, so how private can it really be?

    I’m on Facebook, and have noticed a flux of traffic. I’m actually conducting a survey trying to decipher patterns of use on each.

  21. Why do you need a facebook page when you have a blog?

    Before MIX07 they asked us to sign-up on Facebook to share photos and stuff, but when Facebook asked for my email password I didn’t follow through.

  22. Why do you need a facebook page when you have a blog?

    Before MIX07 they asked us to sign-up on Facebook to share photos and stuff, but when Facebook asked for my email password I didn’t follow through.

  23. In a word . . . Yes!!!

    Facebook is on the bleeding edge of social networking sites. If another one of them (pick one) offered us a chance to integrate so closely we’d gladly do it. Tomorrow. Or we’d even try for yesterday. It’s that hot.

    Many of the services you like today may be available on Facebook tomorrow. If they’re not, Facebook is opening their platform to the stuff you like soon-ish. They’re more or less aggregating web services. Please check it out once it’s all public. Facebook is impressive!

    Just my take as a test dev at a 3rd party itegrator. (I won’t plug us – don’t want to brag.) I assume that I haven’t crossed the NDA line in saying this. I’m really juiced about what I see on F8, though. This isn’t like Yahoo’s Pipes or that awful Microsoft mashup thing (squash-the-fly?). It’s very consumer-oriented and a lot better thought out than just a mashup-generator – it’s the first major social netowrk that acutally decided to open up its API to web devs everywhere.

    I’m totally gung ho about this!

  24. In a word . . . Yes!!!

    Facebook is on the bleeding edge of social networking sites. If another one of them (pick one) offered us a chance to integrate so closely we’d gladly do it. Tomorrow. Or we’d even try for yesterday. It’s that hot.

    Many of the services you like today may be available on Facebook tomorrow. If they’re not, Facebook is opening their platform to the stuff you like soon-ish. They’re more or less aggregating web services. Please check it out once it’s all public. Facebook is impressive!

    Just my take as a test dev at a 3rd party itegrator. (I won’t plug us – don’t want to brag.) I assume that I haven’t crossed the NDA line in saying this. I’m really juiced about what I see on F8, though. This isn’t like Yahoo’s Pipes or that awful Microsoft mashup thing (squash-the-fly?). It’s very consumer-oriented and a lot better thought out than just a mashup-generator – it’s the first major social netowrk that acutally decided to open up its API to web devs everywhere.

    I’m totally gung ho about this!

  25. Translation no. Second Life is a shell con game, Lawnmower Man VR 1999 style. Facebook is just spreading its wings beyond it’s niche, and the hot event of the moment. It will cool.

    But you don’t judge worth by popularity, and surge popularity at that, so much eyeballs accounting there. MySpace blows Facebook out of the water in terms of sign-ups. Is MySpace worth the hype? I think there, even the most-die hard geek, can agree it’s not.

    Many factors determine ‘worth’ well beyond pure popularity, and, in fact popularity alone is oft in direct contrast to real value.

  26. Translation no. Second Life is a shell con game, Lawnmower Man VR 1999 style. Facebook is just spreading its wings beyond it’s niche, and the hot event of the moment. It will cool.

    But you don’t judge worth by popularity, and surge popularity at that, so much eyeballs accounting there. MySpace blows Facebook out of the water in terms of sign-ups. Is MySpace worth the hype? I think there, even the most-die hard geek, can agree it’s not.

    Many factors determine ‘worth’ well beyond pure popularity, and, in fact popularity alone is oft in direct contrast to real value.

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