Facebook Hits the Mainstream

If you read here, you’re probably on the leading, if not bleeding, edge of the early adoption curve. Bit of a mixed metaphor, so let’s say early adopter scythe.

Anyway, Facebook is old news. For about the last year or so, I’ve rarely logged into Facebook; I guess the sheep-throwing and incessant poking and super-poking got monotonous for me, and I lost track of Facebook’s biggest and best feature.

The network and its effects.

Lately, I’ve been reminded of how much I like Facebook by a slew of adds from old high school classmates. As mentioned before, I don’t come from the generation of digital natives, so the appearance of my old chums from the late 80s and early 90s signals Facebook’s passage into the mainstream.

I also have a MySpace account, and not a single person from that same category of old high school buddies has friended me over there. It’s not entirely a fair comparison, but it says a lot for Facebook’s ascent to the thrown as the social network, erm utility, for people new the whole thing.

The appearance of these old friends has reminded me how really cool social networking can be. I’ve reconnected with a dozen or so friends lost to me over the intervening decades, which has made me realize again how cool, fun, and useful social networking is.

I’m pretty sure some of the people are simply collecting friends because some of them I barely remember, and I doubt they remember me any more clearly. But that’s part of the fun of networking, almost like collecting trading cards; you know you’ve done it too, don’t lie.

For many companies, becoming mainstream means a loss of coolness, but I think Facebook has done a good job maintaining their cool factor, even in the face (pun intended) of stiff competition from upstarts and MySpace.

While we’re on the subject of Facebook, am I in the minority for liking the new UI? I know Rich likes it too, but there seems to be a backlash against it. I’m not sure why. I think it uses space much more efficiently, and they’ve introduced a few neat elements.

I especially like the chat design and the applications bookmark. Segregating apps from the profile was a solid choice too.

What do you think? Like it? Hate it? Why?

What about the mainstreaming of Facebook? Have you noticed this too?

Find the comments.




  1. I like the new look too. I was just reading about 2.6 million people who don't like it…what? First, does it really matter in the grand scheme? Anyway, I moved away from Colorado right after high school (to Florida) and I've been able to connect to quite a few people I haven't seen since then. I like it for just that reason.

  2. Critical mass has brought a lot of new people into the fold, including a bunch that I remember from K-12. Nostalgia is this week's flavor. I keep hearing TV references too, so it's totally mainstream now.

    I asked my wife why she joined the group against the new FB, hoping to get some pithy insight. She said someone kept badgering her to join. So, 2.6 million is probably inflated.

  3. Yes, that video rules. YouTube rules too. I heard about a couple who host a show on YouTube scored a TV deal with MTV. Sweet.

    The old domain redirects here so links aren't broken. I'm wondering why Websense blocks the old one. Sounds like an interesting story. Glad you'll be able to follow the fun at work.

  4. You said exactly what I was thinking – I've enjoyed FB for a while but now more people from my generation (and my parent's generation, who would have guessed!) are now getting on. I also appreciate the new look and feel.

    The new arrangement has sidelined the 3rd party apps somewhat, which I think is for the better, but which may be the reason for the backlash.

  5. Yeah, it's fun again for me. I like moving the apps away from the core FB content. They were a huge mess on the profile. Developers now have more real estate to use, if not front/center placement.

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