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Stop Making Social Networks, Facebook Won (somebits.com)
20 points by twampss on Sept 9, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments

This assessment couldn't be further from what I think is the case: Keep building social networks -- there is a huge audience of people that love to interact with others online.

Additionally, this sentiment is contrary to what drives innovation. Nickpp touched on this with his AltaVista comment, but giving up this early in the game is not only stupid but is not going to happen: The market is too young and too rich to not explore.

Facebook may be a behemoth today as Yahoo was before Google. But Google innovated the shit out of one niche part of what Yahoo was doing and cornered the market, later taking over most of the parts that Yahoo sacrificed search to be good at. In the same vein, I have no doubt that there is going to be a replacement for Facebook -- it might not be a social playground or an explicit network, it could be an online reputation or identity platform, it could be a standardization of personal and social data -- but Facebook, like all things, will fade, change and eventually be considered antiquated.

I would argue that people need to stop making generic social networks. But take a look at sites like StackExchange: It is definitely a "social network", even though it doesn't have friend requests, only recently added photo uploads (and only kinda), and doesn't even have a Farmville-killer. But it's incredibly useful, highly successful, and might one day even be very profitable.

Facebook started by billing itself as a "social utility." Focus on the latter part while admitting the former, and you, too, can build a successful business.

Stop making search engines, AltaVista won.

Stop making mobile phones, Motorola won.

sorry mate, but Nokia did! 150 years old and 50% market share

Yeah I considered Nokia for that comment, my thought was Motorala domainated first, then Nokia and now Nokia are failing to compete with Apple and Android which are likely to take over in the long term as every phone becomes a smart phone.

My sentiments exactly.

While your at it, stop making operating systems, Microsoft won.

Wrong analogy. Several SE can have access to the same data (documents on the web) and the new one which offers most relevant to your query subset of those can win. Also there is a very little switching cost. Now the new social network won't have the main ingredient - the network itself. To get the number of users that facebook has is not an easy task. Swithching is tricky, unless all your FB friends are on the new network too. I am not saying it is impossible. It is just much much more difficult than launching a new SE.

I think the point is that just because there is an dominant player in an industry, doesn't mean they will remain dominant. How easy it is to disrupt a market varies, but they all will change over time.

Facebook's open graph actually makes it much more likely there will be parallel networks to Facebook that could eventually become primary.

For instance, if Google had Facebook Connect as a login method, they could quickly assemble the entire social graph and potentially beat Facebook.

That's likely why Facebook is in a tiff with Ping - Apple has the capability of replacing Facebook some day.

That's dangerous thinking right there. I'm hoping Diaspora takes off. People need to own & control their own info.

iPhone kills other phones now, but in 10 years an open alternative will do better. Facebook kills other social networks now, but in 10 years an open alternative will do better.

> iPhone kills other phones now, but in 10 years an open alternative will do better.

Wait, really? Last I heard Android phones were way outselling iPhones. It won't take 10 years for an open alternative to iPhone to take over, it's already happening and will be fully complete and obvious in probably 1 year or less.

"Then we go to people and we say $29.99 once for a lifetime, great social networking, updates automatically, software so strong you couldn’t knock it over it you kicked it, used in hundreds of millions of servers all over the planet doing a wonderful job. You know what? You get “no spying” for free."

Eben Moglen, http://www.softwarefreedom.org/news/2010/feb/01/freedom-clou...

I think without those personal servers, Diaspora won't take off. I hope they intend to sell such a thing. And when they do, Facebook won't fall alone.

Linku for those too lazy to search: http://www.joindiaspora.com/

"Believe me: you can’t build the next MySpace. You may think you can, but you can’t." [2006]


I agree completely! I mean, it's not like anybody's ever toppled the market leader before, or made money in a niche that the leader doesn't cater to, or made enough of a dent to get bought out, or...

I genuinely could not disagree more.

This is nonsense. The idea that the whole world shrugged their shoulders and gave up is nonsense. Facebook won the first round of social media... but it's all shifting.

FB has poor architecture, it's a dinosaur and bulky,

the network isn't real http://www.hrabaconsulting.com/blog/2010/06/21/hidden-stream...

people don't want to interact with brands... the narcissism prevents community. It's about the "ME", when it's really about all the other nodes in the network. http://www.hrabaconsulting.com/blog/2010/09/01/facebook-bran...

With 1000 friends I do market research all the time.. no one likes it, it's broken for most everyone in some way at some point, they've burnt their bridges endlessly... and the business model of saying

We are #1, because we are #1 is ridiculous.

Facebook has lost it's "plot" in the story of social networking. They are doing it wrong, and people will laugh at it deeper and harder than myspace ever got. http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2010/09/04/have-we-lost-the-plot...

It's going to die, for sure.

But now that I see your update... well okay then. I won't.


Hey, that was my blog post. Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I'd be alarmed for the future if folks on this forum agreed with what I was saying! FWIW I posted an update motivated by these comments:

quick clarification in response to feedback. I'm not saying "don't compete with Facebook", I'm saying "don't build something new where I have to enter a new list of my acquaintances."

There are things that you can't currently do with Facebook and there are also broken parts a of Facebook, in other words Facebook is far from perfect, so I think we should compete with Facebook even if the whole world is already registered on Facebook.

The other thing is: social networks come and go, I know Facebook is different.... just like anybody else :D

Social networks are a new inhabitant in the web, so there are chances that a new way of interacting with people beat facebook, so keep making social networks, but not copying old ideas.

Facebook is blocked in Mainland China and Vietnam, home to over 1 billion people.

Facebook is nowhere in Japan or Korea, the two most lucrative East Asian markets.

Stop making donuts. Krispy Kreme won.

Someone's a quitter. :(

Didn't MySpace already win?

Oh wait...

My steam network has nothing to do with my rdio network has nothing to do with my facebook network has nothing to do with my LinkedIn network.

Their Venn intersection is very slight.

Companies like Facebook get displaced regularly in this industry. If anything, the network on Facebook (boy remember when Classmates was the place to be?) becomes as much liability baggage as an asset.

"(boy remember when Classmates was the place to be?)"


But there's 6 former classmates who are waiting to contact you.

Only because they figured out who, er...nm.

+1 M.Z.

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