Facebook Fatigue?

I’ve been suspecting that Facebook’s been seeing a decline in activity for sometime. Just about half a year ago, the ‘home’ section with updates from my friends would be flooded hourly. Now I can login after 8 hours, and find that almost nothing has changed.

Suspicions have been confirmed with this article from ReadWriteWeb (once again picked up by Readburner, have I convinced you of its usefulness yet?), which says

There are now 15,422 apps on the Facebook platform — how many of them are truly useful? Anecdotal evidence would suggest that the novelty has worn off and users are finally starting to demand more of the applications they install.

The article also has statistics about the number of Facebook app users at their peak, and now:

Peak Today
Funwall 5800 2500
Superwall 4800 1800
Top Friends 2900 2200
Likeness 821 181
Super poke 1500 500
Movies 814 500
Compare People 1000 471
iLike 941 372
Causes 469 110
Superlatives 320 110
  All figures in 1,000s

There have been criticisms of Facebook in recent weeks: Marketing Pilgrim discusses a partnership between Facebook and the Wall Street Journal signalling desperation from either/both parties, and Jaffe Juice #101 has a comment on how disappointing it is that Facebook is not engaging the new media enough moving forward.

Applications are seriously beginning to rub some people the wrong way, and Facebook isn’t exactly providing the innovation that people want,  but I don’t think that’s making people tired of Facebook, or making them want to jump aboard the next new platform when it occurs.

Personally I think even with most apps stripped away, the Facebook interface is still superior to Friendster (for sure), and at least for network externality reasons, more popular here than MySpace. There are statistics to prove that MySpace is still dominant, but given that it never really caught on in Singapore, it’s not that relevant.

It would be great to hear what people here think, and maybe get a general idea of how the social networking scene is like in Singapore, and then publish some thoughts on that. My guess on where it’s going is the more frivolous applications (Grow a plant, hatch an egg?) will slowly die off, and the real social applications like iLike and Feedheads will gain popularity, as users begin to realise that Facebook can and should act not just as a Friendster clone, but a place to share information and interests in one central space.

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7 Responses to “Facebook Fatigue?”

  1. amsiewong Says:

    Hey D,

    I agree with you. Perhaps it starts updating like crazy only after a certain event, like our New York Business Study Mission. Remember the photos flooding in like there’s no tomorrow? heh. :)

    Amelia

  2. Daryl Tay Says:

    Yeah and now all the random Arts Fest stuff. It would be a shame if the useless apps cause people to turn away from Facebook at the expense of the real social applications!

  3. dre Says:

    If you look at that top 10 apps, none of them are really useful. Movies maybe? I saw the list from Adonomics quite some time ago, and I would rather see utility/productivity apps on top of that list other than Funwall and Super poke. E.g. MyOffice for project management. I agree with what you said about social apps. I guess people are now realizing how facebook is eating more into their free time.

  4. Daryl Tay Says:

    @dre: I did not see the full list from Adonomics but I will definitely check them out! Btw, your link doesn’t seem to be working.

  5. Andre Says:

    @Daryl: thanks for the notice. i’ve been messing with my wordpress blogs recently. i’ll sort this out.

  6. Facebook Developer Garage « Unique-Frequency Says:

    […] to know whether other people think Facebook is slowly dying out and if we’re really facing Facebook Fatigue, even here in […]

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    […] site, presumably more exposure to the increasing number of Facebook ads, and a way to combat Facebook […]

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