Facebook Home? "Really?"

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I hate any Facebook game, poke, snap-on, program that tries to suck you in (and read your usage).
  4. 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.
  5. Have you ever seen, clicked-on, or used a Facebook ad? I haven't.
  6. 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.
  7. They push things ON you — alerts, ads, snap-ons — all the time.
  8. 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.