Something I wrote about for Idealog seems to be coming true:
Facebook itself will also sink at some stage….
It’s very hard to predict what and when social networks will succeed and fail, but there is probably a simple test to determine the point of failure—and it’s almost certainly related to the date that your mother joins the network.
Now we hear via The Age that parents are arriving on Facebook – and teenagers are leaving:
Figures show that the number of older users of Facebook increased nearly tenfold in America last year, while university-age users declined by 55 per cent….
The online community has responded by creating groups such as ”My grandma is on Facebook”, ”My granny is on Facebook and I love it!” and ”Proud Nannas, Grandmas, Pas and Grandpas on Facebook’
I like using the analogy of bars and nightclubs to think about social websites and dating sites.
The cool people, whoever they are, discover new pubs and bars to hang out, and the crowds slowly build. After a while the venues become too popular, the bars too crowded and the uncool people dominate. The cool folk give up and move on to the next venue, and the cycle continues.
Facebook is a big popular bar where your parents and grandparents are coming to hang out and dance. The lights have been turned up, the music slowed and, well it’s almost time to leave. It is, however, a very big bar, so it will take time to empty, but once the rush starts it could empty pretty quickly (like MySpace). Small networks of friends will move to the next venue, and their friends and their friends will follow.
The big question is what the next venue will be.