Is Facebook doomed?

Ahh, the patina is shedding off of Facebook.

Looks like the trend I noticed when I was in London talking with Maryam’s niece in December has hit home for Facebook. Is usage down?

My own usage is certainly down. Here’s why:

First, Facebook depresses me. I can’t add new friends, so the “game, er, fun” of Facebook has gone away for me (yes, building my social network was fun for me). Now, I know most of you don’t have that problem, but it does create a retardant effect on the fun of Facebook. It can NOT be a “utility” like a rolodex until it gets rid of all limitations.

But this morning I got a call from someone in France. He was kicked out of Facebook for sending too many messages to his friends. He said he was just chatting with his friends, not doing anything spammy (he only had a handful of friends, he told me). This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this kind of story, I get dozens of such emails every month from people who’ve gotten kicked off the service for not doing too much other than participating in Facebook the way they want.

Anyway, Facebook kicked him off (turned off his account, like they did to me) and now there is no way for him to get added back on. He’s emailed an explanation of what he’s been doing to Facebook. They haven’t answered back. There is no recourse. It’s made more difficult because this guy doesn’t speak English well.

As much as I like Mark Zuckerberg, I can not recommend Facebook to anyone until they fix this problem. There’s ABSOLUTELY NO WAY someone’s account should be deleted without recourse, if Facebook wants to be seen as a utility.

Facebook needs to fix these two problems before I’ll recommend it again to anyone.

One other thing? I’m getting spamish messages on Facebook now because I added hundreds of groups. I’m going to unsubscribe from most of them to keep that from happening. I already have too many attention thieves in my life.

But, to the question of “is Facebook doomed?”

No, it’s not. It still is the best designed, and best performing, social network out there. It fits my idea of what a rolodex, er, address book, should look like. I love the iPhone app. The way it all works. I love seeing photos and videos from my friends.

I just wish Facebook would fix these two problems so I can go back to hyping it up.

What do you think about Facebook? Has the patina worn off for you?