Sunday, May 27, 2007

Did Facebook Just Jump the Shark?

I logged into Facebook today, mostly to check the "News Feed" section. Its a great way to, you know, stalk your friend. They're your friends, right? Why can't we just ask them how they're doing? We don't. Instead we wait and refresh the page to see who is dating who, which event our friend attended, and to try and find horrible and incriminating photos of our coworkers.

Well, despite the fact that Facebook is just another in a long line of social networking sites, I like having a profile on it. There are a number of reasons why Facebook holds up and is far superior to MySpace. One, it just looks nicer. Also, there's this sense of privacy on Facebook that I don't get through MySpace. There is this sense of organization through Facebook that MySpace just can't hold up to.

I believe it's because Facebook actually gives very little control to the user. You can add your friends, your interests, your albums, user pictures, and comment on your friends pages. That's about all you can do that would change the look of your page. Where MySpace allows way too much user control. You can change the background, add music, videos, have horrible glittery text, and if you're really good, completely change the look and layout and make it unrecognizable as a MySpace page. Sometimes MySpace profiles will crash my browser.

But now Facebook has added Applications. Applications allow outside developers to create widgets for Facebook users to embed in their profiles. You can choose from things that allow users to see the latest mp3s you've listened to, play music in your profile, and add movies. Digg has gotten in on this sweet deal, letting users see articles that you've recently dugg. Jesus, there is even a Hot or Not application. Politics aren't spared either. You can add a "directional compus" that allows users to really see where you stand in the world of politics, and there's even a "Obama '08" application that will keep you informed of the latest Obama-related news and video clips.

So now Facebook has gone even further down the same road as MySpace, but I'll give Facebook this, all of these applications are well placed and hidden. They've always given users the choice to hide information that you might not find crucial while surfing your friends pages. Even though I'm complaining now, I'll probably make use of some of the more informational and web-smart applications. But you'll never find my picture popping up in the Hot or Not section!

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