Facebook was never the next MySpace. MySpace was always shit. Facebook was a way better communication tool, even from the beginning (or rather when I started using facebook). I never even used friendster. So, I’m kind of tired of people thinking facebook is some kind of flash in the pan that will be replaced at some point. I bet you most of the journalists saying this never even used MySpace. I mean, it’s similar to how all mp3 players were shit before the iPod came out. It’ll be really, really tough to replace facebook.
Another difference between facebook and MySpace is the number of people on it. Everyone is on facebook. Your parents and grandparents, your friends, your coworkers — all of them are on it. Who was on MySpace? A few of your high school friends when you were in high school. Who was on friendster? I don’t remember anyone. Plus, everyone left friendster because of connectivity issues. So, it was shit too. Anyway, the more people on it, the harder it is to replace. Why would I want to lose all my contacts and my pictures (and pictures of me)?
Before Google, search engines battled each other for the title of the best. Google has been king for years. Microsoft was slow to get into certain fields, but it’s still a behemoth. Tech companies can remain dominant for a long time. Going back to the iPod analogy: The device that is destroying the iPod is the iPhone. Facebook can evolve (and consume) to take out threats. I don’t think anyone can assume that facebook will go the way of MySpace. Now, I’m not saying anyone can’t take it out, but it’ll be orders of magnitude harder than displacing MySpace or Friendster.
Facebook has done a good job evolving so far, I think. There are things I complained about. I hated the Stream when it just was a realtime list of updates. They are now back to showing things based on some type of relevance algorithm. They also had some really crappy redesigns, like when they put some icons on the bottom of the page as navigation. Things are okay now. I also really like what they’ve done with Groups. They’re now a good way to communicate with a group of friends.
I guess the one part where people are right to be critical is the crappiness of the ads. Apparently, their click-through rates are abysmal. Whatever. That doesn’t mean facebook is a failure. Facebook is primarily a communication tool, not an advertising platform. If they made a bunch of money taking money from stupid, shithead advertisers, good for facebook. When it comes to money, I’m sure facebook will figure something out.
I don’t care about the stock market — it’s a rigged game — so don’t expect any commentary on the IPO or stock price. Well, except to say that anyone accused of criminal action is probably a criminal. You could probably lock up a good portion of Wall Street. We’d be better off.