Facebook Has Groups…Trying to be Exclusive Again
With Facebook releasing the Groups feature, it seems that Mark Zuckerberg is trying to make the website exclusive again. When the company was exclusive to the world its members seemed to be much more satisfied. But what is it about Facebook that makes the service no longer exclusive? Why has it lost the cool factor? Remember when no one knew what Facebook was? Yea, me either. But there was a day when Facebook was a place where you and only your friends could go. This was the time when you were in college most likely..a few years ago.
Its ironic how Facebook has become so big, less cool, and more annoying at the same time. When Facebook was exclusive and separated from the rest of the world, everyone loved it. What was it about the social network that people loved? Don’t get us wrong, I know people still use Facebook. I still use Facebook. But with the rise of Twitter and the loss of Facebook’s exclusiveness it seems that when you bring up the network to people now a days you get more of a smirk/slight grin instead of one’s face lighting up like a light bulb. I remember I was at a Super Bowl party this past year and everyone was on there phones talking about the hilarity that someone was posting on Twitter. At the time I was not a member, and I brought up why they no longer are on Facebook all day. The consensus was “It’s wack!”. Mind you, these are people that still use Facebook. I still see there posts on my news feed all the time. Ironically, now that I am a member, if they ever contact me…its on Twitter never Facebook.
So what is it about the website that has lost its edge or coolness factor?
Everyone Can Use It:
As stated earlier. I loved when Facebook was just for college students. It was even okay when it branched out to high schoolers. But now, everyone can get on Facebook…and I mean everyone. Its something about the fact that my Mother, Father, Grandmother, or Pastor can create a Facebook account, friend request me, then post pictures on my wall that really turns me off. I mean I would never have a conversation with my Mom about how crazy the weekend was or the wildness that happened in the club on Saturday, so why would I want her to see comments about it on my wall. Even worst than that, why would I want her to see pictures of that chaotic night!
While I am so grateful that my parents are not on Facebook, but unfortunately many my aunts and uncles have friend requested me. Friend requests by family is so awkward. At first you want to reject the friend request. LOL. But you know you can’t do that. At the same time, if you give them a limited profile you feel like its a slap in the face (especially if they know what a limited profile is). The only thing you really can do is just tone down how your wild life appears online. I remember, this is what I used to hate about MySpace. I hated the fact that anyone could friend request me. That is why I preferred Facebook over MySpace. MySpace’s openness had a creepiness about it.
Info No Longer Secret:
You used to not have to worry about what you put on Facebook. All that information was between you, your friends, and the Facebook employees that you would never meet. Now however, that information is being released to everyone it seems. Other websites and third party apps specifically. Me personally, I always give false or junk information when it is not required by other services. I don’t like my email address spammed to death so I always provide my fake email as well. Facebook used to be my place of truth and intimacy where I stored my true identity for friends to see. Now some of that information has to go, because I’m afraid that other companies will gain access to it.
Speaking of other companies. I can see why my friends complain about the fact that they had to delete all their information and pictures off of their Facebook account. Now that employers have access they do not want to risk not getting a job because they have a picture with 3 shots, 4 beers, and a girl grinding up on them (don’t ask how that’s all possible at once). While from day one I never would put anything wild like that online for permanent documentation, many people used to because of the safety and separation that Facebook had. Because of the employer access this occurs much less frequently causing Facebook to be much more free to the public and less cooler or exclusive to users.
Nothing But a Code Word to Promotion Paradise:
Facebook used to be nothing but a code word. A code word for information between only your friends. More than just that actually it used to be a code for Youth. A code that grown adults, professors, and rocket scientists could not crack. Years ago, hardly anyone knew or understood Facebook. Many did not know the word. Those that knew what the word was or knew students that were on Facebook, did not care to be a part of it themselves. This has completely changed. I mean, there is a Facebook movie for gosh sakes!
Lets look at my dad. Though my father has not signed up for an account, I cringe when I hear him say “I need to put my business on Facebook”. Maybe it could help him some. But I can’t visualize Facebookers searching for Accountants after posting on their friends wall about how cool the last episode of Entourage was.
While my father hasn’t done so, many businesses are on Facebook. Too many people on the service are trying to sell me something. And I mean it, there are way too many businesses on Facebook trying to make a dollar. Ironically, it is just a matter of time until I make a Facebook account for TweakYourLife and friend request YOUUUU!!! But I am not talking about the sponsorships or advertisements that Facebook has on their right columns ads section. I’m speaking on the annoying 600+ results you get when you type search “Make Money Online”. I’m talking about the hot girl that send me a friend request. The one the smoking body that has half naked pictures with the caption “hi hun♥ please drop me some coMment @ my page and do checkout the site that i work for.. =) visiT ► http://www.playlikejordan.info/“. What leads me to believe it may not be her…the fact that she is trying to sell me sneakers! Or how about the millions of party promotions that I get tagged in once a week or sent to my inbox. You know, the parties that are on the opposite side of the country from where I live. Yea let me buy a ticket just so I can make that party and come back the next morning. I just checked my inbox. The last 10 messages I received were promotions.
I believe that Facebook is trying to solve many of these issues with its new Facebook Groups feature. The world is now [on] Facebook and Facebook Groups is now the new Facebook to the world (was that confusing?). In a sense Groups is Facebook inside of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg is trying to somehow make Facebook exclusive again. The question is…is it to late?…is it possible at this point? I do believe that the feature will be used and accepted. But I am unsure to whether it is enough to bring the coolness back to Facebook.
Unlike MySpace, Facebook is at least doing the things that it takes to remain relevant. Hopefully they can figure something out. I do like the fact that all my friends are on Facebook (unfortunately not Twitter). So I would like to keep using it for a while. If the exclusiveness returns, that may actually happen.
Do you think that Facebook Groups can save the social network from its growth and openness?[*Update/Request* - If you like this article please Tweet about it, Post it on Facebook, Digg it, refer people to it, etc. I am starting this blog show people how technology can help their everyday lives. Need to gain some popularity, because unfortunately the blog can't help people if they don't know about it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks]