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Why Facebook is the New Yahoo (datamation.com)
33 points by Impossible on Sept 16, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments



Listen, I'm no fan of Facebook but this article is pure flame-bait.

Death by a thousand paper cuts may be a fun way to look at how Facebook could eventually bite the dust, but I think it's simpler. Eventually companies are going to figure out that they need to stop turning things inside out and technology will carry human social interaction instead of human social interaction carrying technology.

The distinction can be subtle, but consider a world where you don't think about the company and technology enabling you to share a moment with a loved one. Do you think about which phone network is carrying your phone call (until it drops)? In the future you probably won't think about checking Twitterbook+, it will all just happen.


> consider a world where you don't think about the company and technology enabling you to [...]

And yet people (at least here in the US) have a tendency to apply brand names as generic technology (i.e., "to xerox a paper", "google a term").

So the counterbalance to your argument is that sometimes when a brand is so pervasive, it is synonymous with the technology.

Not sure that's the case for Facebook, but the possibility exists it might be.


This article is just one eye-roller after another, but if I had to pick out one that really made my jaw drop:

> The company’s engineering isn’t especially impressive.

Buddy, your writing isn't especially impressive, and your armchair engineering is impressive only in its astronomical ignorance. The scale at which Facebook operates, volume of data and requests, and cacheability profile of its page views, and its development velocity makes it possibly the most impressive web company in terms of engineering. Granted Google and a handful of other companies are up there as well doing different, and possibly slightly more impressive stuff depending on who you ask, but to suggest Facebook's engineering is middling just paints you as a giant tech buffoon.


Great engineering to support success does not equate to engineering to create success in the first place.


Engineering does not create success, it prevents failure.


I don't think Facebook has launched any successful feature or product since the Like button. Even the Facebook commenting system has failed. Techcrunch is the only site I've seen using, and it's actually the reason why I dramatically lowered my visits to their site in the beginning (other reasons came later). Fred Wilson has said this, too, in a recent post.


Clue me in about Facebook comments (I'm considering using them on a current project).

Why do you consider them a failure?

I thought Like + comments was pretty damned brilliant, because they make FB part of the infrastructure of so many sites. Plus, anecdotally, every time I turn around another site is rolling out the comments in a big way (like the LA Times recently did).


Trolling journo on a deadline. I worked at Yahoo for 4 years, off and on. I have worked at FB for almost 2. The companies are almost nothing alike, inside or out.

And does he really think that Facebook and Skype slapped together an integration in one week in response to G+?


Groups and lists also existed months before the first G+ announcement. Hard to copy something you don't know about.


FB groups are totally different to G+ groups. For a start, they're a misnomer: it's not a tool for you to group your social network with. Instead, it's this really horrid kind of "interest group" idea, except it revolves around you, and instead of people joining, you include them. Yuck.

FB lists are kind of like G+ groups except they're a PITA to setup and you have to go out of your way to use them when sharing something.

Another thing I hate about FB is the way the entire service is about sharing everything. You have to be really really careful not to overshare anything. In G+ I know exactly what I'm sharing and with whom.

Screw you FB. I hope you die in a fire.


I was referring to this claim in the article: "Knowing that Google+ would use “circles” to segment actual social networks (“Family,” “Friends,” “People I Secretly Despise,” etc.), Facebook launched Groups and Lists, which hardly anyone used." FB couldn't have copied G+ for Groups and Lists because G+ hadn't been announced when those features launched.


You want thousands of people to die because you don't like their website? How did you get into grad school?


I wrote a similar article back in April but from a financial perspective http://johnstanderfer.com/2011/04/25/is-facebook-the-next-ya...

I don't have any strong opinions on Facebook's current and future technology plans. What I do know is that what is publicly known about Facebook user numbers and finances makes them far more similar to Yahoo than Google.


>Now Facebook’s desperate new strategy appears to be: Just copy Google+.

oh, really. Because Google+ is successful??


In a way, yes. There was lots of public validation for some of G+ features.


Don't know why you're getting downvoted. Lot of people really do like G+ features (circles, followers etc). And you didn't say that G+ is successful.


I really hate when people so casually write off a company as a failure.




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