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Facebook: The Beginning of the End

Yan Matusevich
10

Facebook is everywhere. It seems like every person, company, fictional character and even government organization has a Facebook page. Social networks has become the buzzword of the past few years with virtually everyone applauding Facebook’s remarkable rise to dominance. But now it looks like the world’s biggest social network is slowly edging towards a downward spiral.

Call me crazy, but I felt like Facebook was headed for a disaster right after  the Social Network movie came out. When success comes too quickly, it often spells trouble for the company. Back then everyone was still overwhelmingly enthusiastic about Facebook and I remember actually looking forward to old friends adding me, girls liking my philosophical status updates and sharing videos still felt like a cool thing to do.

Fast-forward to today and my Facebook feed has slowed down to a pathetic drizzle of article links and an endless stream of shared memes. Have my Facebook friends gotten “less interesting” or is something terribly wrong with Facebook?

It’s called Facebook fatigue and it has only started settling in. People like myself that were Facebook addicts in college are slowly but surely going from active to extremely passive and lazy users. The company has, of course, been aware of this tendency, putting a lot of effort into continuously pumping out new features. Instead of rekindling users’ interest in FB, these new features have done the opposite: make more people feel ambivalent and detached from the social network. Yes, people continue to use it, but it is becoming more about passively scanning the news thread than sharing every moment of your life. If someone were to print out all of my Facebook activity over the past 5 years, I am fairly certain that it will be easy to discern the point at which Facebook fatigue had started to settle in.

Obviously, there are still developing markets out there where Facebook can still have a major impact (take Russia, India and Brazil for starters), but for me there is absolutely no denying that Facebook is already slipping. And the latest stats from the US confirm what I can feel intuitively: the number of Facebook visitors dropped in May for the first time in its history from 158.69 to 158.01 million unique visitors.

The only question now is: what’s going to be the next big thing after Facebook?

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Comments

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  • Craig Webster Jun 29, 2012 Link

    Flame me for this if you like, but I can see Google+ eventually taking the lead. The new Events are awesome looking, and seem to be focussed on rejuvenating the active user. And Google+ embraces the fact that these sites are commonly used as news/meme generators. Of course, Facebook really is gonna have to go down the pooper first if Google+ is expected to see a more widespread adoption.

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  • justin Jun 29, 2012 Link

    to right...seen its days..

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  • Mary Osborne Jun 29, 2012 Link

    I'm new at Facebook, but for me it's a way to connect to Family and Friends. I don't like the Government Agency's and Sex Offender's having access to it, not much I can do about that. See you on Facebook. Mary Osborne

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  • Lane Lester Jun 29, 2012 Link

    I try to entertain, inform, and influence my Facebook friends. I am trying to do something useful with Google+, but with very little success, so far. I'm not interested in any of the real-time stuff. Asynchronous is the only way I communicate. :-)

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  • Vladimir Lavrnić Jun 30, 2012 Link

    I would not call this "the end". It is rather search for new point of balance. What is happening in USA with unique number of visits will happen in Rusia and India for some months maybe years. It is kind of saturation with the concept. So yes you connected with your old friends, relatives etc. All of you were excited for that but for how long? It is normal that level of activities goes down. I do not see that some other network will replace it (unless ther is some real advantage or FB alone make wrong steps). Personally I do not have FB account but sure there are lots of things that are good for this kind of systems.
    So as conclusion: death no, maturing yes.

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  • CJ Brown Jun 30, 2012 Link

    I don't have a problem logging into Google + vs. Facebook - which often doesn't support Google Chrome's "secure browsing" most of the time (& I'm not lessening my security for any social network) ...

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  • Geoffrey S. Jul 1, 2012 Link

    I could see how this might be a problem if all I have time for is Facebook. I have lots of other more important things to do with my friends than "poke" them via social media. I always did think, better to have some face time with someone over Facebook time any day of the week. Seems people easily forget media is just that. I hope that there are lots of people waking up to real life after being sucked in to the semi detached social void that is the web. please understand, Facebook has its' merits, but an over reliance on social media has been the end of more than one real and beautiful relationship.

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  • Yan Matusevich Jul 2, 2012 Link

    Thanks for all the interesting feedback.

    @Vladimir I definitely agree on the point that Facebook can continue to grow in new markets as you mentioned. Activity, however, in countries where Facebook is immensely popular is bound to continue its downward trend.

    @Craig I would love to see Google+ really do well, but I really don't see it happening. Sure people are creating Google+ accounts (or rather Google creating them for you, if you already have Gmail), but they are not really being active. Still a beautiful yet empty wasteland for me.

    My bet is that social media will change radically and something completely different will come up.

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  • Baron Tankhe Jul 2, 2012 Link

    I really like Path which has a really nice clean interface. It's only on mobile and for now I'm not getting spammed by stupid games/ memes.
    The philosophy of only connecting with your closest friends also helps keeping it clean.
    https://path.com/

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  • paul rodham Jul 3, 2012 Link

    i how go on twitter than facebook. and to top it off if you like the wrong thing ,it cost 10 million to calm down the law suits.

    so be careful facebook fans

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