Do we really want a Facebook Web?

Your parents are probably on Facebook, as are your kids and there is even a chance your grandparents are on Facebook as well.

You neighbor is probably there playing FarmVille and you stand a good chance of getting Friend requests from the corner-store clerk at some point. Even those neighbors and irritating jerks from work are knocking on your Wall. Even people you wouldn’t have anything to do with anywhere else will eventually seek you out.

Yet we continue to flock to Facebook in droves but for what?

In the homogenized world of pastel blue Facebook it all reeks of  sameness. Any changes they make to the service are only meant to achieve two things: keep you safe and comfortable in the Facebook womb and to provided increasing numbers of eyeballs to advertisers and marketers.

It seems that every other day we hear of yet some new way that Facebook is trying to make itself a safe replacement to that mean, nasty, and uncertain online world. From teaming with PayPal so you can easily spend money within Facebook to the possibility of its own email system everything is geared to remove you from ever needing to go anywhere else on the web.

As Louis Gray points out

But Facebook has become that go-to site that absorbs what many other sites used to. It has become the platform for sharing photos, the platform for messaging, the platform for casual games, and personal connections.

Just as Google wants to index all the information in the world Facebook wants to index all the social interaction on the web.

But what exactly are we getting in return for all this blandness and sameness? Games that are nothing more than ways to keep you on the service and spending money? Endless quizzes that for the most part are nothing more than marketing ploys?

Is this really the web we want?

6 Comments

  1. 08/03/10 at 19:05

    Even if it is not what you and I want, it’s what many people are accepting. Who knows? Maybe Facebook can improve to the point you and I are okay with more activity there?
    .-= Louis Gray´s last blog ..SocialToo Expands Twitter Phishing Protection to All Users =-.

  2. 11/03/10 at 8:24

    We never wanted a big media top-down TV-World, so we really like a the diversity of the web, even if fb becomes a big player in that game.

    • 11/03/10 at 11:25

      The problem is that as we gravitate towards giants like Facebook we aren’t getting that diversity. In fact all we seem to be doing is repeating our use and obsession with old media.

  3. 13/03/10 at 15:09

    It’s certainly not the web I want. I feel that Facebook is getting more boring all the Time.

  4. 14/03/10 at 3:44

    Great post! It’s depressing even to think that the bland, homogenized
    experience on Facebook is the future of web. Its success is not all that
    surprising given it’s designed for the masses who love the ability to
    share, interact without much hassle or effort.
    While, Facebook is and may remain the top social destination,
    but I am not convinced if it will ever be “the web”.
    When a company tries to do everything, it usually fails. Facebook’s
    search and messaging features are still mediocre, at best. Acquiring
    startups like Friendfeed is a major coup but the jury’s still out on
    whether they’re serious about enhancing the user experience or they are
    just trying to kill off the competition.
    Also, for Facebook to assume that the other major players in entertainment
    and search will just roll over, play dead seems a bit too optimistic but
    then again, anything’s possible.
    I would like to see more diversity on the web and remain hopeful that
    we’ll see a next-gen of social communities crop up that deliver a more
    tailored interactive experience, where one can have open communication
    without being spammed with inane ads and where privacy is not just an
    illusion.
    .-= Mia Dand´s last blog ..Is Social Media Only About Influence? =-.