It's had accolades from the tech and filmmaking industry, been given an eyebrow-raising presentation at the movies, and managed to cross generations with its networking prowess, but the big news this week about Facebook (aside from a possible impending war with Apple) is how it's bleeding users like never before. From the L.A. Times:
Facebook lost nearly 6 million users in the U.S. last month, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of the month, said Eric Eldon, an editor at Inside Facebook, a research and marketing group that conducted the study. It was the first monthly decline in a year, he said.
While I haven't scrutinized the data regarding the decline, from a purely anecdotal point-of-view, I can say that, while the Facebook-luster hasn't worn-off for me (yet), I do find myself wanting different ways to express myself and connect with people. Perhaps others do to? And, in this fast-moving and fickle world, it really is only a matter of time before folks begin to move on from one thing to the next.
Facebook is quite an extraordinary web site. It is probably the ultimate in social network engineering, combining status updates (that allow for more than 140 characters --- yes, Twitter, I'm looking at you), with its own messaging/e-mail system, a 'Notes' section, photo uploading and tagging (sharing), chat, mutual friends lists, and mutual friendships (something lacking in the Twitter world). It really is all-encompassing. For the past few years, it usurped my old ways of blogging. It was more... immediate and to-the-point.
Now, however, I find myself wanting more than what Facebook can provide. It's true that I've expanded my online social sphere to include Twitter, but that's a horse of a different color. It would seem to inhabit the definition of 'brevity.' No, what I miss, and am looking to regain (hence this relatively new blog), is a space to write-out my thoughts without worry of character limits, or social networking 'rules,' or any of the other limitations one might expect from a Facebook or a Twitter.
It's odd... I'd thought of blogging as a dead (or dying) form of expression. Archaic. Quaint. And, no doubt, sites like Blogger have probably seen a decline in active blogs in recent years. But sometimes we require a break from something to fully appreciate it. And that's what's happened with me and blogging. No, I don't blog like I used to. But it's nice to have another outlet for deeper expression (like the 'Pic of the Week'.... just kidding).
But, seriously, maybe that's what's happening with the defection from Facebook. Maybe folks want more? Or else they're just bored with it.