What is the point of Facebook?

I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go on a rant for a bit. Feel free to not read it, but I just have to post this. I know some of the people who read this site use Facebook, and I have to ask myself WHY?

I’m a techie guy. I love new ideas and new technologies, espeically on the web. When IM came around, I was one of the first people to jump on it. I have the lowest ICQ number of anyone I have ever met. I have an account with every known IM provider. I get communicating with friends, family, and others on the Internet. I get seeing their status, and seeing their profiles.

I constantly hear from podcasts, news sites, feeds and friends about Facebook. How it’s some amazing new medium. Companies are only beginning to grasp the potential of such an amazing site. It’s worth billions. And after many times of trying to open it up and get into it, I still ask myself: WHY?

I find myself in a similar vein as I was in with Twitter. I didn’t get that either. The only good suggestion I heard for using it, was to let friends know if you’re going to be somewhere, so they can meet up with you. But basically, we already have this with IM Away messages. Is it really necessary to base an entire company and business model around the idea of a status message? Are you kidding me?

I’m starting to come to the conclusion that this is what happens when you get older. You just stop getting it. It’s a terrible thing to admit, but it must be so – how can millions of people be wrong, and I could be right? Then again, there was that dot com bubble a while back…

But getting back to Facebook. As I see it, like Twitter, Facebook is analagous to something else we already have in the tech world: SPAM. That’s right, Facebook is a Web 2.0 implementation of spam. And you can subscribe to whichever spam you’d like to have! And the best part, it’s spam that your friends think you might want to have! It reminds me quite strongly of the chain letter and joke emails I used to get, before I sent a mass email telling everyone to “cut it out” a few years ago. Hasn’t been much of a problem since then.

Seriously, though, no wonder companies are looking at Facebook as the future of marketing! I know I sound like a grumpy old man or something, but people – WAKE UP! The only real potential in Facebook is eyeballs. They’ve built such a huge network, just by letting people spam each other with vampires and pokes, that the only way forward is down. My prediction? Facebook will be the dot com bubble burst of the new millennium. Companies will invest gobs in it, and lose it all. I’m begging someone to tell me why I’m wrong. Maybe some explanation will open my eyes, and I’ll see what’s been eluding me. I hope so.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on MySpace – that thing makes my eyes bleed…



  1. I send you a goldfish.

  2. Mom said

    Why don’t we just go back to communicating by writing letters again the old fashioned way. People now a days are just too lazy to think of such a concept. Let’s keep the postal service in business!! I need to collect my pension…

  3. Jurie said

    I am older than you, and I get both Twitter and Facebook. Back to the drawing board! 🙂

    It’s all about modes of social interactions – Twitter and Facebook’s minifeed both fill a gap no other tool did so far (of course the popularity of both helps – network effects and all). I can communicate with my friends using these two tools in ways I cannot replicate any other way.

  4. Justin Posner said

    Rock on “Mom”!!! Now if I can just stop paying my bills online!!!

  5. grandpa said

    Well, I don’t know anything about Facebook except that it is currently extremely popular. That popularity obviously means that many people ‘get it’ and that makes it valuable.

    You may be correct in that the company is overvalued; however, while it remains popular it will always retain a certain value.

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