Facebook is a blog
Facebook is restless. Not so long ago did they launch a successful redesign of their website. It has some issues like tabs pushing content to the background and subsequently being ignored. On the whole it’s a marked improvement of what went before. Facebook is steadily carving out a huge chunk of the web for itself and with yet another redesign they seem set to make a push for world domination. As a blog.
There are a few posts floating around that somebody should be buying Twitter. I at least think that Facebook won’t buy Twitter and that Google should because it’s the latest and greatest in real time search. Stick an ad on a tweet and hey presto, mega bucks. Although, in the end Twitter might try and go it alone.
Facebook doesn’t do search but they do social content and twittering is basically micro blogging. They should want a piece of that pie. Also I don’t see them fending off twitter on their own entirely. However their fancy new look does set the stage for full out war over real time content.
However, I personally don’t think that they are direct competitors. In fact many users are using both Twitter and Facebook for status updates. Twitter feels more real time because it doesn’t require a direct response. Twitter is based on SMS and that is by de-facto one way communication. That’s why we only need to ‘follow’ others on Twitter for it to work.
Facebook is two way communication and therefore feels less ‘real time’. It used to be more like a forum, which has it’s limits because it inherinlty requires a reply for it work and with each new design they seem to be moving away from that model. What I actually see users doing on Facebook is the rehashing of content from other sources.
The connected nature of Facebook has made it the best social blog tool around. The ability to add third party applications has helped the service become a viral platform as well. However a viral platform is food for vultures and has almost wrecked the Facebook brand. It’s good to see that they’re making it less visible and clamping down on rouge applications. Although I think they should be stricter. Not like Apple’s iPhone App store approach, something less demagogic and at the same time less of a couldn’t-care-less-free-for-all.
The design looks like it might solve that issue because the applications are no longer front and centre. This trend towards an interface focused on content mashup and less functionality without sacrificing any actual functionality was started with their overhaul last year.
In fact the new design looks like they’ve hit the nail on the head. They’ve distilled the service down to its core usage. The good old days of an alumni type network site are long gone. Enter the social group blogging mashup, even applications are just microblog content.
This is where Myspace gets it wrong, people don’t care so much about thier own little space and giving it a fancy background. At least not as much about being connected (almost) realtime with their friends and family. Your own content is all good and well but it’s what others are saying and doing we value.