Lately, Facebook has been quickly catching up to MySpace for world domination, or at least Techmeme news aggregator domination. But the question critics always ask, “is it sustainable,” at least when it comes to reaching new audiences and keeping the perceived value in a product high.
I try not to rely on numbers for a lot of my logic, I use fuzzy logic and qualitative analysis, but I figure I’ll take a deep dive and see what I find.
Facebook has generated a lot of buzz, not from themselves, rather among many A-list bloggers. Most notably, Microsoft’s rumor to buy Facebook for $6 Billion. I decided to run some quick Google searches on various terms in the industry on the Techmeme aggregator to compare where FB is to MySpace to the Industry. Here is what I found:
MySpace leads as #1 as Facebook follows closely at #2 number of stories on TM.
“Real World” Metrics
Popularity doesn’t equal sustainability, although it does contribute. Ultimately, innovation can be the key ingredient for sustainability. How popular is Facebook compared to MySpace? In my opinion, Facebook and MySpace are still considered to be in separate leagues mainly because of corporate ownership, user demographics, and the features offered. That said, let’s take a look at some fancy graphs, courtesy from Compete.
Not bad for FB. MS seems to be dropping lately.
Interesting. It appears around the time that MS deployed its new home page skins, PVs have dropped.
This numbers and graphs look pretty for Facebook, but they should know the giant they are up against. The only thing that [to me] MS offers that FB doesn’t is fully customizable profiles. While FB is easy — too easy — to add modules to their pages, it can inundate and take away the value of them for some users.
Is Facebook sustainable? Possibly. What they must do is offer valuable content to their users and listen to feedback. Listening can come in the form of Web analytics, user feedback, and even spot-testing new features with users. Looking at the PVs per visit, you can see MS has substantially dropped since they released their new home page skin … did they not poll their users enough? Were MySpacers looking for a more Web 2.0-ey interface? We won’t know ’till the end.
What do you think? Is Facebook sustainable as a prominent social network, or does it need to incubate some more?