Okay — the curmudgeon is alive and well this morning. Facebook just released to the press a new initiative to wrap android phones with their own 'home' page experience. It is deeply integrated into the Android environment — to be always 'on' and be the dashboard to your social world. A 'start button' for apps on your Android device.
As they say on Saturday Night Live: "Really?"
I have found my Facebook usage declining precipitously over the past few years. In fact, many people I talk to (even Social Media Czars) say that they are using it less and less too. I even ask kids (14-22) about their usage and they give me a weird look — they never use it.
Why is my Facebook usage declining?
- There are other better platforms out there. Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Texting, etc. allow me to stay connected with key people in my personal and business life.
- If I do check Facebook, it's to see if my blog posts are live (confession: I've NEVER closed a client from Facebook) or if I want to wax nostalgic and interact with college friends or hometown photos from years gone by. That's it.
- I hate any Facebook game, poke, snap-on, program that tries to suck you in (and read your usage).
- And on usage, I am on high-alert about how Facebook tracks EVERYTHING you do — catalogs it — and sells it to the highest bidder. I've also am very wise to Google — that's why I use Duck Duck Go for my searches.
- Have you ever seen, clicked-on, or used a Facebook ad? I haven't.
- And then there's Facebook Envy - read this and this. I get tired of seeing all the 'great' things other people are doing - you know who they are - and they use Facebook to advertise their kids, their travels, and their pets. I'd rather read a good book.
- They push things ON you — alerts, ads, snap-ons — all the time.
- It's not an information resource — it's a waste of time. I'd rather use Reddit.
Now back to Facebook Home. Based on the information provided above — why would I want a more expansive, exclusive, and inclusive experience with Facebook? If you eliminate teens, young adults, and professionals, who's really using it?
Housewives/Househusbands, Seniors, and people who are less technologically savvy. Is this a growing market? Housewives/Househusbands are very fickle, the less technologically savvy tend to get more experienced, and seniors die off.
And let's cover their stock opening fiasco, their privacy issues, their ever-changing interface, their bloated code, and wonderful ability to tick anyone off with their presence. Facebook is not a pretty, simple or tight platform to use.
Facebook is doing well right now because there's no direct competition. Google+ is a joke. There is no iOS to Android competition comparison here.
In my opinion, this might be a swing for the fence for Facebook — inculcate themselves into a mobile platform (because their app sucks) to maintain their current pole position.
I don't think it's going to work (let's wait and see if they have to make a de-activate app to wipe it from those phones in the next 6-12 months).
P.S. A confession: I do use the Facebook 'like' app for my posts — I'm trying it out in addition to the basic comment plugin. Not sold on it yet.