I don't think the Facebook issue has anything to do with their brand. I think the attitude that Facebook is addicting actually has more to do with people becoming bored with the service and noticing how much time they actually spend on it.
>> "... my friends and I used Myspace in middle school, and we too abandoned it (for Facebook) once we reached high school"
The conclusion drawn here might be incorrect. I'm not sure of the age of the author but could it be that he reached high school at the time when Myspace had fallen out of favour with most people and everyone was beginning to transition to Facebook?
It's an interesting post, particularly the part about Snapchat. His sister's use of it seems to fit with the way Facebook was advertising Poke (I thought they just had to find another angle besides sexting but it sounds like there are other uses for it). After hearing this description it sounds like something I might use. A lot of the photos I share on Twitter/Instagram and things I find interesting or funny but I never need to see again. I usually have to then go and delete them from my camera roll and occasionally I go back through my Instagram feed and delete them. The idea of Snapchat (expiring images) seems to be what I need.
I think he's right to question the viability of the brand. Facebook has accumulated a pretty incredible amount of unflattering connotations over time, and is now probably one of the least cool tech companies around, at least in the eyes of normal people. Personally I find it telling that the people I respect the most are those that publicly post on Facebook the least (naturally I use it post publicly never :) )
The danger here is that once a company gets uncool, they often get desperate to try and prove that they're cool again. For an example of how well that tends to work out, see Microsoft's increasingly-shrill efforts to prove that they're still hip. The problem as far as I see it stems from the fact that the best companies project an image of selflessness - they're not actually trying to make money, they're just people who have a really, really amazing product, that they love so much, and are so happy introducing to the world. Once a company gets uncool and desperate, and starts casting around trying to reinvent themselves, they are basically openly admitting that their only purpose is to make money and their only desire is to beat their competition. This is Microsoft's position right now, and it's not tenable in the long-term in my opinion. People just don't like desperation and the dishonest posturing it breeds. Facebook could walk right into that same trap (not helped by the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is so uncool.)
No. Based on everything I have seen or heard of him in the media, including videos of him in speaking or interacing in social situations. He seems extremely awkward and completely bereft of charisma. The polar opposite of Jobs.
> I think the attitude that Facebook is addicting actually has more to do with people becoming bored with the service and noticing how much time they actually spend on it.
This is still something Facebook should solve. Facebook, despite its public groups and pages, still fosters incredibly insular communities, and those can get tedious very quickly. The reason Tumblr and Twitter have any popularity is that they encourage finding and following new, interesting people. They have a lot more novel content and it's easy to explore and find more of it. If Facebook gets seen as the boring, traditional social network (which to some degree it has), then that seriously damages its credibility.
> The reason Tumblr and Twitter have any popularity is that they encourage finding and following new, interesting people.
Yes yes yes. There's a huge unsolved problem in the social networking space: meeting new people near you (for purposes other than dating or sex, but that too)
That'll be the next truly big thing, I think. It might focus on places or events, like connecting people who are going to a concert or a bar. That's sort of what I hoped FourSquare would be, but it's even more insular and boring.
Facebook used to solve this (at least for college students) with class listings. That was a really killer feature for a large part of their user base that got axed when they launched the app platform and expected an app to take its place. Problem is, of course, 50 apps took its place and none of them won.
It's a hard problem to solve especially when the draw of Facebook is that you have a smaller network of people you actually know. You're right the definitely need to do something. I think they are trying to by creating a separate pages feed for example but even that isn't good enough yet.