I didn’t truly get Facebook. I would sit there listening to my sister-in-law who would be using it constantly and I would wonder why. Why would someone waste their time watching “walls”?
The only comparison I had was LinkedIn. I have played the game on LinkedIn, but what have I gotten? I feel like all I get…. is bugged.
“Here is a Job you don’t want”. “Can I use you to talk to FOO?” [especially from recruiters]. What value am I really getting here? It felt like LinkedIn was getting a bit of a surge, and seeing status changes could be useful. “Huh, he just moved to FooBar Inc huh. That is cool”.
Then Facebook announced their API play and I started to see more non-university-or-high-school folk joining it. I decided to join too, and now I can see why Mark Zuckerman is so bullish. Allegedly turning down Y! for a cool billion is a tough pill… but still.
Facebook is addictive. I see people… friends… on there constantly. They use it to set status (instead of Twitter, or using Twitter inside of Facebook thanks to the API). They use it to upload photos (ditto…). They use it as an email client for god sake. Why not just email each other? It appears that Facebook is their world, and why leave it?
Facebook is also incredibly viral. If you are at a Web 2.0-y startup and you haven’t written a Facebook application yet, you are missing out. If I started a cmopany tomorrow the first thing I would do is create a Facebook app that uses their API (as well as a Google Gadget, Mapplet, etc etc). What an incredible delivery mechanism!
The one KEY feature:
Bob Harris added the DionsNextCompany application
As soon as I saw the first of these in my stream I sat there and thought “wow”. Holy virality. No wonder new cool apps grow to a huge user base within Facebook.
Facebook really is a platform. If you have an idea that is AT ALL related to people, and people connecting to other people, then why wouldn’t you build something on top of Facebook?
LinkedIn is bleeding. Many LinkedIn users are signing up with Facebook, and are finding that it is a true platform. Reid has talked about how they are maybe kinda going to open up their platform in the same way, but he has to do it pronto, else it may be too late for LinkedIn to reach its potential.
I personally wish that there was a nice way that these islands could work together of course. Being “500+” on LinkedIn makes it really painful to think about starting again on Facebook.
Work is boring and a chore. Friends are interesting and fun. This is the stuff that makes you hit reload ;)
Bob Harris went from being “in an open relationship” to “it’s complicated”.
I think I finally get it….. and I think that we are going to see a WHOLE lot of Facebook apps in the near future, and businesses that are made by the platform itself.