I’m finally in the newest of the new, much touted Facebook killer that is Google+, and instead of going through it’s pros and cons, I’m in the more sentimental view of social networking of yesteryear. Firstly I’ll say it’s not a Facebook killer for two reasons, a) it’s only a week old and b) it’s clearly a work in progress, and the only thing that will kill Facebook is Facebook it’s self. Social networks are fickle, cynical and cyclical at best, nothing lasts forever, ask SixDegrees, Friendster and MySpace, everything rises to a rousing crescendo and eventually the wave breaks, it just depends on how high the water mark that’s left is.
Flickr is a great example, from my experience at least, 2004 to 2007 was it’s peak time, the owners cashed in and it more or less fell stagnant, not that it wasn’t worked on by Yahoo, but after a few years of uploading, favouriting and commenting on pictures, as well as active groups, it just fell off the proverbial cliff fast. Just last month I was debating on renewing my Pro account, I only did because I had Getty royalties money in my PayPal account. I’ve barely been on the actual site since 2007, a combination of smartphone emailing or using an app to upload random pictures and using the Flickr uploader for mass dumps as well as moving from the imploding Atlanta area group to Charlotte where there wasn’t as many social events gave me no reason to check back. I still use it, mostly out of habit and, sadly, I’m invested to the tune of almost 6,300 pictures that I can’t be bothered re-uploading to another site that will most likely end up the same as Flickr.
Facebook, I know a few people who are or have already approached burn out on the whole encompassing Facebook experience. I found I’ve went in cycles, didn’t really use it when I was first invited, had the same contacts as Flickr, Twitter and the APWBWGTTD mob were very social anyways, then old school friends found me and I caught up with them for a while then another lull, then old SixDegrees people found me and again I was active before the next lull, even now I don’t do much, my feed is mostly information pulled in from 3rd party applications like Flickr, Foursquare, YouTube etc. Not even the lure of chat and video calling can do much to lure me back, I’ve went on many large purges of my friends list because I honestly can’t be bothered with other people’s lives. Petty reasons too, like if your profile pic was of either your kid or pet, you were gone like yesterday.
Twitter is the only one that’s really lasted, I’ve been there since September 2006, I take great pride in my early adopter status of the 4 digit user id I have (5628). And to some extent Google+ feels like Twitter did in those early days, it’s only the hardcore nerds who are in there, there’s no businesses trying to push their wares to you, no bots spamming links, just people. Signal is high, noise is low and I know it won’t stay that way, as soon as it’s open the inevitable hoardes will descend upon it and it’ll be just like everywhere else. Then something new will come along and we’ll all move en masse to there and wonder what’s the next thing that’s ready to come down the pike…
It’s not a Facebook killer, the only thing Google+ is is a Google+ killer.
Hey Greg, I sort of disagree…many of my friends – especially my tech literate friends – have already dumped their facebook accounts because of Google+ and the site isn’t even live yet. If that continues then Facebook would be in trouble. No one likes the new Facebook chat system, the privacy rules or Mark Zuckerberg himself. I am not saying Google+ is a Facebook killer…but it could be. People would still be on Myspace if there was no Facebook and I think Google+ might give the impetus for people to live Facebook eventually.