I started a Facebook account about three years ago for fun at the urging of a colleague. Initially, it was everything that I expected it would be. I heard from friends I had lost touch with and found classmates from high school and college. Back in 2009, I started off with just a few friends, mostly family and close friends. After three years, of course, my friend list has grown considerably.
I used to feel compelled to check my entire newsfeed when I logged on so I didn’t miss any interesting news but to do that now would be a full-time job. Now I just spot check whenever I log on. I’d venture a guess that ninety-nine percent of my mom friends check their Facebook weekly, if not daily. Smartphones make it easy, yet ironically, experts say mobile tech might just be exactly what ends up killing Facebook within the next five years.
Facebook is struggling with its mobile version because at heart, Facebook is a website, not a mobile app. And apparently the future is all about mobile, on-the-go technology, not websites. In an article in the NY Daily News, Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital, said he predicts that Facebook will ultimately have a similar fate as AOL and Yahoo:
“In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared. Yahoo is still making money, it’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it’s 10 percent of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared. Look at how Google has struggled moving into social, and I think Facebook is going to have the same kind of challenges moving into mobile.”
I admit that I often view Facebook as a chore lately, something I have to check as opposed to want to check on busy days.
I can’t argue with that. Anyone who checks their Facebook account from their phone will quickly recognize the mobile version’s limitations. On top of that, we’ve already heard how dismal the stock has been since it recently went public. I admit that I often view Facebook as a chore lately, something I have to check as opposed to want to check on busy days. Since I work in social media and publishing, it has become as necessary as reading email, but I’m wondering how vital or engaging it is for the average mom who doesn’t really have to see what her friends are doing everyday.
Part of me feels that we’ve already been there, done that. I mean don’t you know which of your friends is the hourly updater, political commentator, depressed being, angry poster, or perfect mom in a perfect house with perfect kids and perfect hair? What about the person who is a bit messed up in real life but on their Facebook page, you’d think they dropped out of a Disney sitcom? Then there is the over-sharer whose status updates makes you wince. Quite a few of my friends have traded in their maniacal Facebook checking for pinning on the widely popular Pinterest. Many say the reason is simple: Pinterest is not mean spirited, and the pictures (whether photos of food, clothes, hot guys, home decor or pets) are lovely.
It will be interesting, to say the least, to see what new kind of mobile apps come out that moms might prefer to Facebook. Only time will tell, and of course the news about Facebook attempting to market the site to kids under 13 might vamp up their membership considerably.
Do you get as much enjoyment as you used to from Facebook? How often do you check your page: weekly or daily? And would you miss the Facebook interaction if more people flock to a mobile app instead?
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