Last night I noticed dissention toward Facebook. Students can set their status to indicate what they’re doing. Many of them use it to reflect their current state of life. Scrolling through my friends list, I noticed these statements:
- … is really creeped out by facebook now.
- … is sick of Facebook THINKING it’s somehow improving itself when really, its just annoying
- … is pissed at Facebook… why did you have to go and change!?
- … is not liking the new facebook!!
- … is hating faceboOk .
- … is wondering if they changed facebook just to fuck with her.
- … is Boycotting the NEW facebook!
So what happened? This weekend FB launched some new features. Primarily, adding a mini RSS reader and rearranging the look of profiles. However, one glaring change is that it highlights anything new. For example, if I look at a friend’s profile, it tells me So and So just became friends with X, Y, and Z. So and So just added these three new pics. So and So just adding a new movie and changed relationship status. So and So just joined this group and posted this comment. In a nutshell, FB has made it easier to keep up with friends— but people don’t like it. My sense is that it is too revealing. It brings too much attention to updates or changes. It makes things too obvious and too distracting.
It’s a little sad because FB had a nice niche. A simple, straightforward look that was easy to use and understand. It developed a sense of community amongst college students, better than any other online site. But now FB has tried to get too fancy and the early indication is that users don’t like it. Is there perhaps a lesson to be learned? I am sure there are parallels for the L 2.0 folks, but I’ll let someone else tackle that one.
Friendster died because it didn’t change fast enough. Facebook looks to be dieing because it is changing too quickly.