Is Facebook the Infernos of social media?
The Facebook backlash has begun. Respected software analyst Ray Wang has called the social media darling the ‘AOL of our generation’ Adding: ‘Facebook doesn’t respect privacy, brands are over-reliant on Facebook and it will come back to bite them.’
Earlier this month Laurent Vernhes, CEO and Founder of Tablet Hotels, compared Facebook to a giant nightclub where you go with your friends and do a bit of flirting. In contrast if you build your own community on your own website you can foster interesting conversation where people get heard. Adding: ‘If you don’t build your community on your own site, you don’t control the richness of content.’
The comments follow the plethora of posts by users ‘dumping Facebook’ and falling out of love with the world’s biggest social network.
Complaints from agencies that Facebook has become ‘arrogant’ and the sheer enormity of the numbers and data that Facebook hold make this backlash feel somewhat inevitable.
So is Facebook the Infernos of the social media world, where brands will struggle to be heard over the noise? (For those who are not familiar with the infamous Clapham nightclub, think sticky carpets, loud music and men who inexplicably wear Lifeguard T-Shirts all year round.) And what is the alternative – do brands risk creating beautiful ivory towers of their own communities which no one, bar the agencies that created them, will ever visit?
The truth is probably somewhere in between. You can’t argue with Facebook’s numbers but brands need to spend more time and effort finding niche networks and building their own content driven hubs. The nice local pubs to Facebooks’ rowdy nightclubs, where you can get a seat, hear yourself think and have a proper chat. (In my case it would be the Idle Hour or the Tim Bobbin). Because lets face it Facebook friends often aren’t real friends at all.