Flipping point?

You may, or may not, have heard the phrase ‘Tipping Point’ used to signify “the moment when something previously unique becomes common“. Made popular, although not created by, Malcolm Gladwell, it can be applied most recently to the explosion of people using Twitter, and previously to such web applications/social networking websites, as Facebook.

Which, rather nicely (gee, it’s almost like I planned it!) brings me to my topic. Namely, Facebook and is it starting to tip away from ‘common’ towards something else.

I’m not quite sure where Facebook is tipping towards but there does seem to be the beginnings of a swell, a murmuring of discontent as Facebook continues to grow and tries to adapt itself accordingly. Basically, on a more and more frequent basis, Facebook seems to be starting to irk some people.

In that respect, it’s very much like the noise that preceded it’s massive growth but on the opposite side of the slope, the word of mouth is heading towards negative territory. Anyone else think so? Just me?


  1. K said:

    Just had a purge of my facebook apps actually as they are constantly spamming me, creating a junk-mail deluge in my inbox. So yeah, I think it might be irking me quite a lot atm.

    March 3, 2009
  2. Jane said:

    Definately not just you, the constant spam of infintile apps, is beginning to more than outway the clean lines and comparative ease of use of facebook. My husband recently deleted one of his profiles of facebook (he has more than one but then again he’s special like that) because he was growing fed up with it and other reasons. I haven’t and won’t because through it I’ve been found a bunch of friends that I made at high school when I lived in the US over 20 years ago, and I have a fair number of friends who are constantly moving about it’s a great tool for keeping in contact with them.

    However if something came along that was better than facebook and something will, then I will swap.

    March 3, 2009
  3. Jane said:

    oh to be able to spell the right word at the right time. I did not mean outway I meant outweigh. D’oh

    March 3, 2009
  4. Lyle said:

    I’d agree with you, Gordon – in fact I’ve been expecting it for a while.

    All the “social-networking” apps seem to have a similar sort of growth curve (OK, all the successful ones, anyway) –
    start off
    get popular
    build word of mouth
    drive users towards [site x]
    critical mass is reached
    more people join who weren’t in near the start and don’t “get it”
    the early-adopter:latecoming-bell-end ratio explodes from (maybe) 1:2 to 1:20,000
    early-adopters get effed off with idiots
    [optional extras:]
    [site x] tries to cash in on user-bounty with new TOCs etc.
    [users leave]
    [/optional extras]
    early-adopters leave for “next big thing”
    user-curve demographic drops off the cliff
    site [eventually] dies

    You can see this throughout t’internet – I refer you to Geocities, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, MSN, Yahoo Chat, et al.

    And looking back through that, I obviously need to up my anti-cynicism medication once more.

    March 3, 2009
  5. Ian D said:

    I removed lots of Facebook app’s a long time ago – waste of time mostly. In fact I’ve left and rejoined Facebook a couple of times as I just wasn’t using it. Twitter meets all my keeping in touch needs along with blog and Flickr. I keep my account open just to keep an eye on non tweeting friends really.

    March 3, 2009
  6. Gert said:

    I don’t like it, and I don’t like the apps, but I feel obliged to stay on it because of the people with whom I’m connected. I have managed to re-establish contact with two of the formerly most important people in my life. (They were having chhildren while I was being ill) and I can see photos of friends and family, which is nice.

    March 3, 2009
  7. mum said:

    Jane – “oh to be able to spell”?? It’s ‘definitely’!

    March 3, 2009
  8. DraconianOne said:

    One of the most common search terms turning up in my blog stats at the moment is “How do I delete my Facebook account?” I think I should write a guide.

    I bypassed the obligation to stay on it in order to stay connected with people I’d found by reasoning that I now had their email addresses and could stay in touch by more usual means. It was liberating.

    March 4, 2009
  9. Rob said:

    When it (Fbook) started I thought it was great if a little “US Campus” like, when people told me about Twitter I thought, what’s the point, that’s covered by facebook status, (how wrong?!) and flickr, no, no need that’s within facebook etc…
    Then came all the pirates and shit, how annoying and why did facebook allow it?, they didn’t get anything out of it.

    Also annoying is the hundreds of friends I have but for a lot of people they are from the past, so they use it like friendreunited to have a nose but no more. So I have taken off all the apps except photo sharing, taken off most my personal data, left the “network” I was in and next step is losing some “friends”.

    March 4, 2009
  10. Simon said:

    I was reading one of your commentors describing how their husband left facebook and thought “that sounds like me”. And then I realized who wrote the comment!

    Definitely felt like a rat deserting a not-yet-sinking but holed below the waterline ship. Facebook is too insidious, and it tries to suck you into a level of connectedness with your “friends” that eventually feels claustrophobic.

    March 4, 2009

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