Facebook Ditches Places


<img class="aligncenter" title="Facebook Ditches Places" src="http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqer6snqlA1qbihzpo1_400.jpg&quot; alt="Facebook just announced that it will be abandoning its Places feature on mobile devices. Instead, location will just become a standard part of status updates.
This news comes on the back of data released by Gartner suggesting that Facebook engagement is plateauing. Here’s an excerpt I snagged from my friend Jamie Turner of 60 Second Marketer regarding Facebook’s slowing momentum:

Quick facts:- 31% of early adopters get bored- 24% use social media less than before (37% more than before)- 1 reason: 33% are worried about their personal data, teens another 22%- Gartner surveyed 6,295 users aged between 13 and 74 from 11 markets

These stats coupled with the rocket-like rise of Google+ suggests that Facebook might may have made a couple key mistakes that liken it’s life-cycle to MySpace’s own rise and fall.
The major mistake made by both Facebook and MySpace:
Both platforms chose to innovate around value for advertising rather than users.
MySpace allowed SPAM, advertising, and brands to muddy the UX. Similiarly, Facebook has added features to their platform to provide a carrot for advertisers and brands to jump on the platform. While these may have some value for a large percentage of users (I’m thinking of integration with gaming, and investment in brand pages and e-commerce apps), user experience was an afterthought. The highest ROI for new features should be measured in the ability to reinforce the core value that the network delivers to its core audience, and the value it adds to the overall experience. To stay relevant both platforms should have invested in innovations on the platform that:

a.) Make it easier to manage relationships
b.) Share content they’re interested in
c.) Discover content (including pictures, video of friends) and activities a user may be interested in

… You know, the stuff that they joined the network for in the first place.
I’m not suggesting that Facebook time on top is over by any means. But I do think the networking giant should reassess what the value it provides to users really is.
After all, the success of Facebook and social media in general isn’t attributed to the magic of new technology. Social networks simply lowered barriers and added scale to existing human behaviors that are deeply engrained in all of us: the propensity to share, connect, and be social. Based on the design of Google+, I’m betting they’re thinking the same thing.” width=”400″ height=”300″ />

Facebook just announced that it will be abandoning its Places feature on mobile devices. Instead, location will just become a standard part of status updates.

This news comes on the back of data released by Gartner suggesting that Facebook engagement is plateauing. Here’s an excerpt I snagged from my friend Jamie Turner of 60 Second Marketer regarding Facebook’s slowing momentum:

Quick facts:
– 31% of early adopters get bored
– 24% use social media less than before (37% more than before)
– 1 reason: 33% are worried about their personal data, teens another 22%
– Gartner surveyed 6,295 users aged between 13 and 74 from 11 markets

These stats coupled with the rocket-like rise of Google+ suggests that Facebook might be trying to re-focus it’s energy on the user experience by streamlining some things. By doing so, they will be able to avoid a couple pitfalls that MySpace ran into which lead to their decline.

The major mistake made by MySpace:

MySpace and Facebook shifted their attention to advertisers.

MySpace allowed SPAM, advertising, and brands to muddy the UX. Similiarly, Facebook has added features to their platform to provide a carrot for advertisers and brands to jump on the platform. While these may have some value for a large percentage of users (I’m thinking of integration with gaming, and investment in brand pages and e-commerce apps), user experience was an afterthought. The highest ROI for new features should be measured in the ability to reinforce the core value that the network delivers to its core audience, and the value it adds to the overall experience. To stay relevant both platforms should have invested in innovations on the platform that:

a.) Make it easier to manage relationships

b.) Share content they’re interested in

c.) Discover content (including pictures, video of friends) and activities a user may be interested in

… You know, the stuff that they joined the network for in the first place.

Social networks simply lower barriers and added scale to existing human tendencies that are deeply engrained in all of us: the propensity to share, connect, and be social.