I don't get Facebook (yet)

I only joined Facebook a few days ago, and only then because I felt it was something I had to know about. So far, I’m disappointed. It doesn’t seem to be great at anything. The photo-sharing element is mediocre. The ‘notes’ feature falls well short of any serious blogging application. The calendar element is OK, I suppose. RSS support is patchy. Maybe it only shows its true worth when you throw your entire life at it, and force all your friends and family to do likewise. Seems to go against the grain of other 2.0 apps, which allow – and sometimes encourage – you to consume the data outside. Or perhaps I just need more mates. (Charlie Brooker’s take on Facebook is worth a read, incidentally.)

4 thoughts on “I don't get Facebook (yet)”

  1. I wrote a comparison between Facebook and MySpace a few weeks ago, and looked at what I think FB has got right; it lowers the barriers to adoption of social networking because, unlike MySpace, it fits nicely within existing social mechanisms. Put simply, Facebook encourages you to keep in touch with people you already know, whereas MySpace is about people and music discovery. The piece is here.
    I think that’s why they are experiencing massive growth in the UK; their potential market is far larger than MySpace, because MySpace will only ever appeal to socially liberal, confident teenagers; I can’t see a 60-something ever becoming a MySpace devotee (apart from politicians desperate to jump on the new media bandwagon), but I can see someone of that age being a genuine active user of Facebook.
    The technology doesn’t sparkle, but it does work. The crucial thing is the way that they have thought through features and developed an approach which encourages regular participation and social interaction using the service – things like the minifeed may be trivial technically, but I find make me worth many more pageviews than I would be otherwise.

  2. Hey Simon –
    Right on, I don’t get it either! (that’s actually how I found you, you’re currently number 1 for “i don’t get facebook” on Google. 🙂
    I feel way you do – it’s not great at anything, and with so many apps out there that are great at their little niches, why lock yourself into a generalist thing?
    It still worries me though… I don’t like not getting things that the kids are all enthused about. Makes me feel my age… 🙂

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