So, no, most of us aren’t going to spend the time removing friends on Facebook. Instead many of us are using new social networks, like Path (we’re an investor) and the upcoming Just.Me (we’re also investors, guess how much we like this space) to start fresh. Facebook is for thousands of people you don’t know. The start fresh new services can be finely crafted from the start to include only your actual friends. And they’re made for mobile. Update: Check out Ourspot as well.
Path and others are giving us what we want – A nice, sophisticated and diverse conversation with friends, like sitting together at a table just laughing and talking and drinking a latte. Facebook is more like the top picture above. Chaos.
So Michael Arrington is admitting that he was careless when adding friends to Facebook, that he doesn’t want to unfriend anyone, and that he would rather just use a new application that does the same thing.
Not only is he saying that many people’s experience is the same as his, but also that because many feel the same way as he does, that this company and that company are the next new hot platform platform.
I find it hard to believe that anybody will buy into his logic. I find it hard to believe that such a fickle user speaks for any sizeable portion of Facebook users. And the hardest thing for me to believe is that he even knows what he wants.
I was off Facebook for a year and a half. After I rejoined this past October I unfriended many people, going from around 400 friends to just over 100. Not surprisingly, doing that changed what Facebook felt like for the better.
There are always hot spaces, but they’re only ever hot to the same people in tech journalism or in venture capitalism. The problem is that while those two groups use social networks dramatically differently and have dramatically different wants, they have a bad habit of speaking for the entire population.
I still use other networks with similar features like Path and Instagram (Google+ not so much), but not because Facebook is too crowded. I use those other services because they offer their own unique and delightful experiences. You should judge a platform on that. Not on what these people tell you others want.