It happened slowly. One minute I was checking Myspace eight or nine times a day, looking to see if I had any new friends, seeing if that girl broke up with her boyfriend or not. The moves on Myspace mirrored my own life. I wanted to make sure that certain people were in my “top lists”. I only commented to girls, never guys. If I did comment on a guys page, it was only in the form of a joke that he and I would get and no one else. But, one day, I didn’t check Myspace. I didn’t see the point. It was slaved to my email. Any messages anyone sent, I would be notified. And I’m not really in the mood much to be notified of messages. I was checking Facebook. At first, just once a day. I uploaded a picture or a wrote on someone’s “wall”. Then it became three or four times a day. Then almost hourly, I was going to Facebook and staying there. For hours! There were games I could play. There were unlimited photo uploads and about fifty different ways I could leave a message. I could “nudge” people. I could buy them stupid virtual flowers. I could send them a private message. Facebook is a veritable playground with almost unlimited opportunities for wasting time. Didn’t Myspace do the same thing? Is this cheating?
The reasoning is simple, and almost sort of scary. Myspace out did the puny Friendster by giving users more options and making those options easy. Myspace was simple. You uploaded things, you put stuff here and there. Myspace controlled the content you could put on your page and controlled how you used the content. Friendster was also plagued by outages that Myspace never had to deal with. Towards the end of the tiny Myspace vs. Friendster War, Myspace became victorious by allowing more photo uploads than Friendster. With hundreds of millions of users, and a strange since of its own coolness, Myspace championed to the top of the social networking hill.
But, while Myspace was getting all the press coverage, Facebook had a totally different strategy. It aimed itself squarely at College students and almost exclusively college students. No one not sleeping through their comp tests had no idea what Facebook even was. The college kids new. And college kids have two things that regular twenty something John Doe doesn’t. Lots of time and lots of expectations. If college student Steve is going to use Facebook, it is going to do stuff. A lot of stuff. Facebook embraced the use of applications like a starving man reaching for an uncooked steak. The genius part? There is a Myspace application. You can edit and use your Myspace profile on your Facebook profile. It is a small stroke of insanity that causes a person to wonder, “Why do I still use Myspace anyway?”
Is Myspace dead? Not by any means. But it is boring, and almost pedestrian in the wake of the Facebook uprising. Technology always gives raise to better technology, and no one should be surprised by Facebook’s lightening fast acceptance by the internet-networking-socializing junkies. The real question is, what’s next? With Facebook having everything you could possibly want, what will beat it? Well, there is Seesmic, a video networking site that allows you to video yourself and send to your friends. Are we ready for small videos where my friend is brushing his teeth, asking me how my date went? Maybe progression can take its time.