Duncan Riley at TechCrunch wrote an interesting article about MySpace and Facebook. I have to frankly agree with him, even though I despise MySpace for a great many reasons, the numbers tell a different story users are still being attracted to MySpace. However the people that I have seen being attracted to MySpace still tends to be those in their teens, as this group moves to college and now high school age, they switch to Facebook. Perhaps the biggest shift in Facebook is coming from those older than 40.
This presents Faceboook with several challenges that they must address for Facebook to stay successful, the first is presenting a friend as only a few limited options. This has caused a ruckus in the blogosphere over the past week or so. People have friends from all walks of like and those from other than places besides randomly, work, school, and social events. You meet people online never actually talking to them in person, but you want them to be a part of your life on these social sites – where is the online friend an option? This is just one example of the friend problem.
The second biggest issue that Facebook is going to run into, is as the service gains more and more users and everybody starts adding more and more information and expand the sphere of people who they include in their friend’s list. How will certain people be able to view only certain parts of your profile, for instance if I added my boss, I don’t want my boss to see what my political views are, yet there they are for all to see. Same thing with my current relationship status, even weather I am heterosexual or homosexual. Yet has anybody ever used the limited profile tool, I have and it is a pain to get it configured right so it works.
Another thing is where is the list for all the different gender descriptions there are in today’s modern world? Granted Facebook desires to just have one thing so when they are listing information it is “she” or “he” preformed foo and bar action. But the applications that are now built on top of Facebook, don’t have this problem they instead use “they” preformed foo and bar action. This is a much better choice both not having to worry what gender someone is and allows for people to input their gender as basically anything and Facebook shrugs and nods and goes about it’s life. The platform should not care what information I add about myself, it should just connect me with people who are my friends close or distant.
I hate MySpace, but I still have one for some reason, I only hold onto it because there are a few friends who really use MySpace and what me to have the page still up, but every time I log in I come so close to just deleting the account. All that aside Facebook still needs work if it wishes to retain users and add users from all age groups not just those in high school, college and just out of college.
P.S. Facebook also needs to work on their privacy settings for when you block a user, there are still ways around it.
P.P.S. I also use LinkedIn for my professional page, it is the best for a social platform for only business related people who aren’t friends or for listing your qualifications for a job rather than your favorite music.
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