Facebook Changed Everything, It’s Not A Fad, and I’m With Zuck

I just read a comment from what was likely a troll on some website I’ve never heard of. It read:

Facebook is a fad and only losers are on there. You people go on Facebook and try to get as many friends as you can but the reality of it is that none of you people really like each other or you would use the telephone to stay in touch. All of you Facebook people don’t really care about what your “friends” are doing and they don’t care about you either. Most of you people maybe have only one or two real friends…..right? But Facebook is a mirage because it makes you think you have lots of friends when you really don’t. Think about what you people are doing and how you are fooling yourselfs.

I’d like to dismiss this guy and move on, but his opinion (which I completely disagree with), is fairly prevalent. In fact, some recent poll says that half of Americans think facebook is a passing fad.

Let me just say — as a software developer, user of Facebook since ’05, and developer of 3 of the first 100 Facebook apps — I have seen the greatness that is Facebook. They jacked the world up and dollied themselves underneath. The world is dependent on Facebook, and they will become a revenue-cranking growth superstar.

  1. It passes boredom
  2. It maintains friendships
  3. It resurrects old friendships
  4. It sparks new friendships
  5. It’s extendable
  6. It’s integratable
  7. It’s a social news feed
  8. It’s a world news feed
  9. It’s a chat platform
  10. It’s a media sharing platform
  11. It’s a company of talented hackers
  12. It’s a place where small business promote themselves
  13. It’s the only place that some businesses promote themselves (not even a website)
  14. It’s Google’s big problem to solve
  15. It has created a massive queryable, crowd-sourced, graph of people, places, and things of the world
  16. They’ve captured 1/7th of the world
  17. They asked for all of your info, and you gave it to them

In short: They’ve consistently innovated throughout their existence. They blew the doors off of what everyone thought social networking was at the time (MySpace). For more than 7 years, they’ve improved rapidly, collected data, and grown their roots so deep into our way of life that I’m not sure those roots can ever be removed without something radical happening (massive privacy breach?)

If you think they’re going to fall on their faces now, you’re out of your mind. I’m long on Facebook, that’s all I gotta say.

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  • Lol

    wat? lolno.

  • http://www.monkeytainment.com Ethan Stillman

    Fully agree, but I think this sentiment goes further; it is also in large part true for Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and some choice others.

    The big factor distinguishing these companies from others is that they are genuinely focused on extending the capabilities of humans to interact.

    Microsoft is credibly innovating in Natural UI with research out of their ‘Computational User Experiences Group’ into muscle-computer interfaces.  Google is doing Glass with the G+ ‘spine’.  Amazon has connected me to a ‘cloud’ of human workers and given me access to any tools I might need to do anything I might think to do.  And Facebook will build off their ‘identity layer’ foundation to pursue similar agendas.

    When you expand people’s capabilities to interact, they will interact more and in more meaningfully and productive ways.  Meaningful and productive interaction leads to value creation, and if you’re the enabler, value capture.

  • YourLittleBrother

    Did you delete my comment!?  Wow, some brave dude you are!

  • Someguy

    You’re right about almost everything except for 12 and 13, Some small business do promote there and as for businesses that only promote there, they are sadly mistaken as it’s as bad as only advertising in a newspaper. 

    Facebook makes most of their money from businesses that advertise there. Then some from investors relying on internet buzz. The key reasons people use Facebook is all of the points you mention. But they don’t go there to look at ads. How many ad’s do you click on? How many people  that use Facebook block ad’s? Eventually investors will realize this.  Maybe they already have. There is no way to monetize people wanting to communicate when all they want to do is socialize and communicate. 

  • Nunzio X

    #17 is why Facebook can go fuck itself, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Adbmr

    It maintains friendshipsIt resurrects old friendshipsIt sparks new friendships

    No. Facebook does none of those things. All these are activities which can be facilitated by using tools such as a telephone, face-to-face meetings, e-mails or facebook. Facebook does not execute these activities automatically.

    It increases discoverability, so that it does become easier for you to find former friends or collect more information about new acquaintances. Whether that makes us depend on it, I doubt it.

  • Nun


    They blew the doors off of what everyone thought social networking was at the time (MySpace). ”

    What?   “At the time” Facebook was a scalable version of Friendster.  It had little to do with MySpace, despite its popularity.

  • katzgrau

    Hm, if anything I’d say it was MySpace first. Originally it was basically a static profile page with a comment feed deemed a “wall.”

    By the time they came out with the Friendster-like feed, they already had millions of users (to revolt against the ‘mini-feed’, ha).

  • katzgrau

    The weakest of those three is probably “Sparks new friendships.” But I can personally say that friendships with people I knew when I was twelve (childhood best friend) have been reignited because of Facebook. 

    Like you said, I was discovered, but it was through Facebook that we caught up, shared some old pictures, and set up a meet. 12 years later, I asked that same guy to be in my wedding party via Facebook.

    If Facebook itself doesn’t resurrect friendships, it’s definitely the most convenient medium for doing so. 

  • katzgrau

    It’s true, but people are crazy like that. The things people like, say, and do are worth money — and Facebook is capitalizing on it. In exchange you get the greatest social platform ever.

  • katzgrau

    I definitely didn’t delete anything — repost and I promise it’ll stay intact :)

  • katzgrau

    You’re right that a lot of people are relying on buzz. I mean, I think that’s what drives IPOs in general — most people aren’t intelligent about investing — they’re very speculative and emotionally driven.

    But there’s much more to Facebook. It’s not how they’re making money now, but how they could make it in the future, the defenses they have set up (impenetrable in my opinion), and the quality of the team running it.

    And sure, Zuck has never ran a public company. Neither did Jeff Bezos. There’s nobody better to run FB than Mark.

  • bobbywake

    Ahh, but Bezos sells something, and provides value (connecting buyer and seller) in a financial transaction.  Much easier to monetize.

  • YourLittleBrother

    Okay, well, then, I absolutely disagree with you, but I apologize for believing and saying that you had deleted my post.  I will chalk it up to an error on my part.

  • katzgrau

    No prob, I dig the spirit though