Robert Horler, the managing director of Diffiniti, a
Facebook-style intimate nudge claimed that Facebook's days are numbered: "It's true that people are currently flocking to Facebook, but if you asked me if, this time next
year, the favourite social networking site is going to be Facebook, then I'd say, probably not."
( Campaign 15-Jun-07).
Well he was wrong about the timing, being a year on and Facebook still going strong yet there are dublilations whether its popularity is showing signs of weakness. Many people complain about the number of application requests they receive, yet tehy are probably the same people who then send them once they have given in to the pressures of boredom and added them in desperate need of knowing which hollyoaks character they are most alike, seeking satisfaction when you discover your most like Louise, the cool fashionable one that all the lads fancy, well untill she did a stint in prson and turned abit psycho.
Then there's the whole loss of exclusivity. At one time facebook used to be a cool 'fratt house' style community designed solely for students where they felt a sense of belonging to something specially provided for them. However as high demand led to the allowance of non-student members it has led to some cringe worthy friend requests from mums, cousins, antie's older work collegues. No longer can you post drunken pictures up on your profile without worrying that current/future employers or even worse parents will find them.
On the plus side however it has allowed new social habits to emerge and more casual relationships to develop. No longer do people swap numbers when meeting someone new under the pretense that they'll stay in direct contact. Now simply 'have you got facebook?' is suffice to keep in touch.
So I suppose if we're willing to enter into dialogue with people we've only just met through behind the screen of social networking then it should be possible for brands to do the same. At the minute an communication recieved is via an impersonal new bulliten style comment on a group page. When will an organisation be brave enough to attempt to tackle one to one conversations? or in face book terms 'wall to wall'.
Is this even possible?