The title should be "Nobody Goes To Facebook Anymore... I invested in Path and Just.Me please try those services to make them famous and eventually make me some money; Facebook is cool but you know what's cooler? Me making more money".
I know it sounds like I'm a hater but, read between the lines of this article.
Also, this is an edge case, most people don't have the number of "unknown friends" Michael Arrington has. It takes me less than 5 minutes to go over my friends and delete the ones I don't know.
I guess that's one way to get people to use products you've invested in.. Back in reality we're seeing pretty solid month over month growth in 'organic' traffic and conversions from FB. No effort on our part beyond Like buttons in relevant places.
I'll never understand fluff pieces like this that hit on the argument 'we need less "friends" so we can share more with them'.. failing to realize that maybe a lot of people enjoy passively keeping in touch with people from high school / college that they may have absolutely no contact with otherwise.
I have no doubt that the appeal of Facebook is declining for individuals that frequent hacker news. tech-savvy, most of us out of college. But there are generations of people growing up with Facebook. I'm friends with some of my younger cousins for example, and they use the service like I used AIM when I was their (lengthy fast exchanges). Also, for high school students and college students, sharing within network is quite active. I don't think Facebook is necessarily on the decline, there is so much content that fbook has essentially cemented it's position as a social hub. I think the role of Facebook is simply maturing.
Honestly I tend to feel like any social network based on symmetric following relationships is broken. This is a lot of why people have such ginormous "friends" lists on Facebook - they got in the habit of "adding" any damn person who asks so that they can see their posts.
I don't WANT to have to ask to subscribe to someone. I don't WANT to have to give approval to everyone who wants to watch my stuff. I don't WANT to see every post from everyone who thinks my art and writing is cool. I want to broadcast, not narrowcast. And when I go see what people are up to, I want to see the tiny number of people I'm I interested in, not everyone who thinks I'm cool.
I just tried Path today. My reaction? Pretty UI but I need another place to build a wholly-private friends network like I need a hole in my head. If any of these social networks becomes popular, people will be complaining about the EXACT SAME PROBLEM because these networks are designed in such a way that these problems are INEVITABLE.
This is why I treat facebook as a place to catch sniffs of the latest gossip (If I ever feel like indulging, which is quite rare). I agree with the author with respect to the coffee-table conversation point, that's very true. Facebook is more like a big school with a lot of people you know, but are not really interested in.
Despite this I still use it a lot, but I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I don't want to be completely isolated from the community (a lot of socializing among my 'friends' actually does take place on facebook.)I think this is also the reason that so many people use facebook, you're connected with what's 'hip' even if you don't give a damn about it. Knowing what's 'in' makes it much easier to actually have meaningful conversations, it's a sort of appetizer, and that's why even if facebook gets even more crowded, people will still visit it.
Changing nature of Facebook, it was inevitable as they added millions of people. Facebook is not good for people who want thousands of passive followers and symmetric relationships with only a few. Some people will leave, or abandon their profiles. All the grandmas and aunts and cousins that don't have thousands of "friends" have established mini-networks, they will be on facebook forever.
It is what I am now going to be calling "the web of people"
Many of these issues can be solved by grouping people into lists. Unlike Google+/Circles, Facebook introduced this later in the game, but it does fix a lot of those problems.
I have 'Close Friends' that I care a lot about, then I have classmates, contacts, work friends, etc. In that aspect, a bigger social network like Facebook (or Google+) is much better than a smaller more restrictive one.
I think you may be right, but that is a technical aspect. I think there is a psychological aspect. Some people want an exclusive space where they are not reminded work people or relatives or high school bullies exist at all. Even if they allowed you to block any mention of those people it might cause even more "drama" if they keep messaging you and you never reply.
I deleted my Facebook account 2 months ago and have substituted it with Skype, email, Twitter, HN & Path.
I love Skype because it is all about one-to-one or one-to-few.
I love email because it is long-form, thoughtful and easier for my busy friends.
I love Twitter & HN because I am always learning something.
I love Path because I have rebuilt my real social network and will not accept people I do not care about.
It's really amazing how trends move, yet it's hard to put your finger on why exactly some things become such hits, why they fade, and why most never get big.
I think everyone in the geek community can sense that Facebook is beginning its (probably very long, slow) descent, but I don't know exactly why I don't use it much anymore. It's just not fun or worth my time like it used to be.
I know why I use it less and less - because the more they feel the need to broadcast everything I say and do to all the world, the less I feel like doing anything. also, the ui has just been feeling really tedious to use lately.
Someone who's just jumped on Path (but also uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) said to me that they were hoping to use Path simply with their husband only. Made me wonder about social network opportunities based around very specific relationships.
Is Just.me cutting that back further? A completely private way to document your life? Not sure how that would have viral advantages.
They raised $600k back in July and just raised a $2.7 Series A on December 30
Interestingly, the solo founder and ceo Keith Teare is credited on his Crunchbase page with being a co-founder of TechCrunch
From what I’ve gathered so far, the company is building a ‘new type of social network’ that lives on your smartphone and the cloud and can be accessed from your desktop browser, rather than the other way around (e.g. what Facebook does). Basically, it sounds like just.me wants to turn your phone into the post-PC centerpiece of your social graph, and not just a tool to gain access to it.
Thanks - had seen some of that. No real hint in the name that this could be about private life-tracking? Wracking my brain trying to work out what new take on social someone could be doing at this point to line up $2-3m. Especially with the name "just.me"...