The Facebook Over Reach and Why One Social Network Won’t Rule the Web

I don’t care much for Facebook or it’s ‘attempts’ at global domination. Historically, this shit happens.

I do care that it does not own the web.

I think Facebook’s valuation is creating massive stress in the system right now. There is a lot to live up to and most early insiders have long cashed out enough of their chips and will peck at Facebook for years to come.

There is a meme starting tonight that Facebook is killing one’s authenticity. I say, what took the young guns so long to see this. I have long argued that Twitter is our ID and Facebook is our EGO.

You can’t fake it on Twitter. Charlie Sheen has gone completely psycho and he can’t cover that up on Twitter. Howard Stern can’t help but be funny and original on Twitter. I would argue that every mutual fund and hedge fund manager should have to be on Stocktwits, but it’s a pipe dream and the exact opposite of what FINRA and the SEC would ever allow.

Steve nails it here though in my opinion:

There’s a pretty straightforward reason why FB is valued at an astonishing $75 billion, and it’s all about them forming a reciprocal feedback loop between Facebook.com and other sites so that you can be targeted. But for such a massively social company, Facebook’s insistence that you have one identity across the web is both short-sighted and asinine, and people I talk to are starting to realize this.

Fact is, one social network will not rule the web… People are simply way too social to allow that.

The verticalized social graphs are more important than ever…hopefully the financing to make more of them start and evolve will not dry up anytime soon.

67 comments

  1. SteveD- says:

    Hey Howard, what is a good example of a vertical social graph? I’m not a facebook user so the ubiquitous facebook sign in’s to use certain sites tend to create a certain pressure to join. Must resist!

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  8. $uccess on the web has ALWAYS been about vertical plays. You Sir have realized this from day 1 – but the global dreams of fools will never die. Suffer them gladly for they allow the niches to remain fertile. Long live Stocktwits!

  9. Brian Lord says:

    Facebook doesn’t give the freedom of expression that Twitter does. I think this repels people from it. On the other hand until a twitter user reaches a good level of followers that engage with them Facebook wins out with it’s ubiquity and ease of this social engagement.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I like diversity too and would like to see more services be made available.

    I am also somewhat disturbed to see some popular blogs and sites go to Facebook related comments (rather than Disqus).

    However, realize that 99% of the user market is made up of people who need “simple” and simple is allowing everything on the web and in social to run off of, or be related to your FB account, once you are in the habit of and trust FB.

    FB has a real possibility of being “the standard” much like windows office was forever in the desktop space (and for most people still probably is). As we all know, for a decade or two, anything launched that competed with office was doomed.

  12. gzino says:

    Agree, no one ring to rule them all here. My social graphs, plural, are mine, not FB’s.

    FB revenue goals no longer always aligned with user benefits – accelerated because FB biz model relies on 3rd party monetization of FB’s users, moving the inflection point earlier in time than direct model e.g. an AMZN in which user benefit has direct relationship with revenue for longer period of time: http://goo.gl/6tG6c

  13. DonRyan says:

    This is so, so true. Facebook is what you want people to think you are. Twitter IS what you are (which is often much more complex). Brilliant as always.

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  17. Bryan Hall says:

    “Facebook’s insistence that you have one identity across the web is both short-sighted and asinine, and people I talk to are starting to realize this”

    This is so true. The social network that we all have on Facebook is both a powerful and important one in our lives, but often it is far from the most concentrated or significant at any given moment. I and many of the entrepreneurs that I know are busy building out these other, more niche social networks.

    An important question is how many of these new networks will rely on pieces of Facebook to keep the user in thier current flow and to speed adoption? If this is a large number will the new networks loosen Facebook’s grasp?

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  22. Chris Moloney says:

    Historically, once something gets to global domination saturation point the “cool kids” start looking elsewhere and (if given a viable alternative) .. move. How quickly they move depends on how tied they are to the existing platform and how good the alternative is.

    One thing Facebook (and to a lesser extent Twitter) wrongly assume is that I want to communicate the same thing to everyone. Broadcasting everything to everyone is not really how (most) people communicate in the real world.

    Where’s the ability to target your audience? I don’t want to discuss Techcrunch’s new commenting system with my Mom in the same way I don’t really want to send pictures of my kids to my business contacts.
    I want to be able to group people into target audiences and also give them the ability to choose which type of communication they want to receive.

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  35. David says:

    i agree, twitter is the id, and fb crusts our ego. then again, there’s twitpics and 4square for some ego rumination too.. just not as concise.

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  37. Mark Essel says:

    Thanks for calling out that post by Steve Cheney, right on with his observation of TC’s sterile comments.

    The great thing about books is there’s always and ending.

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