Top Ten Reasons Facebook Sucks
Not long ago I promised a “top ten” list, and I’ve been itching to bitch about everybody’s favorite former-Myspace-wannabe, current-LinkedIn-wannabe Facebook.
Maybe I’m one of the last few sane people, but I’m not on Facebook. I won’t join. If you send me a stupid invite or I receive an email saying you added me to your little network there, you go right into the virtual trash. I have plenty of people who ask me why I won’t jump on the Facebook bandwagon. I just tell them it sucks and that I have more useful ways to spend my time (and more fun ways to waste it). But here you go… my top ten reasons Facebook sucks:
1. It’s incredibly juvenile compared to other networks, yet I constantly see people using it for business reasons. Use unprofessional services, and that’s exactly how it makes you look. If you think it’s professional to “poke” your colleagues online, maybe you still belong chasing 10 year old boys around the schoolyard.
2. Facebook is a fad. Yes, a FAD!!! You couldn’t give a single legitimate argument to prove otherwise (and don’t try to feed me that crap line about social networking being around long enough to no longer be a fad… Facebook, a single company, doesn’t equate to “social networking”). People who waste their time chasing fads (especially in marketing) always get burned, wasting more time than they can justify in the long run.
3. Frankly, there are better ways to reach your target audience (unless you’re primarily targeting students – despite their changes, that’s still the primary userbase. If you’re targeting them, Facebook may be an alright tool for you. If you’re not, forget it.). If you’re not putting in the effort to find the best ways to reach your target audience, you’re not doing your job. In most cases, Facebook won’t even come close.
4. Facebook doesn’t even know who the hell they are, yet people are willing to put their professional identity even partly in their hands. Guess what. Their first model sucked. They’re toying with something new. Do you really want to invest a lot of time and effort into networking through a company who couldn’t even remain faithful to their own market? I sure as hell don’t.
5. PR professionals should know hype when they see it. Enough said on that front.
6. Most people I know who are on Facebook are on a variety of other social networks as well. Newsflash: most have no real added benefit. If you’re using Facebook as just one of several social networking sites, you have way too much time on your hands that would probably be better spent elsewhere.
7. The company has a history of not being terribly considerate of their users’ privacy. They may have privacy options available now, but do you really trust a company like that when it comes to your business? If you do, that’s great. Dense perhaps, but great.
8. The fact that they try to act like their own little virtual world is just annoying. Any site that forces you to register to really get a feel for it is just pathetic. It’s a simple marketing tactic on their end to rev up their member numbers (and supposed worth?) whether people actually use the site or not.
9. Speaking of their “value,” I’m sick of hearing about it. All the talk about whether or not they’d be sold and for how much is what started all of Facebook buzz in the first place (despite the fact that most of the newer die hard fans don’t even realize where the sudden mass interest came from).
10. Frankly, Facebook is so “been there done that.” They’re dated. They’re not “cool” anymore. The early adopters have come, gone, and moved onto better (and more useful) things, and what you have now is this overwhelming group of stale business-minded folks who still buy into the hype. Why? Because most people are too lazy to actually research a marketing / PR tactic before jumping on the bandwagon when it’s all everyone’s talking about. That’s the nature of being a fad. The only good thing about Facebook is the fact that fads die.
Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not completely knocking all social networks. I’ve used Myspace for quite some time for business, and very effectively. But there’s a huge difference between me using Myspace and most of the folks using Facebook in any kind of a networking / marketing capacity: I know my market, and I chose my tools completely based on the most effective ways of reaching them. I do music publicity work and run a music zine for independent artists. There’s simply still no better place to find them, and that particular market isn’t the type to pick up and move to other social networks. Most people I know using Facebook are totally clueless about how their market uses (or doesn’t use) the site or social networking in general. That’s just bad business.
I don’t expect most people to agree with me. I wouldn’t be surprised if I offended quite a few people who are so slow as to still buy into the fad without any real vision for the future potential or lack thereof. But Facebook isn’t worth any more time than it took to write this rant (if even that). There are much better options out there. If you use generic tools like Facebook for marketing, you’ll never get the best reach and value for the time commitment. Like with anything else, know your market or audience and find the most effective ways to reach them. “Well everyone else is doing it” just isn’t a good excuse… especially in business.