You’ve heard the expression: Facebook killer. (Google Killer, Amazon Killer, Yahoo Killer, Microsoft Killer or killer or whatever is dominant or leading at the time.)
Well, I’ve got one, and I’m almost serious about this.
The thing with the most potential to kill Facebook is this incredibly annoying, deceptive, tacky, unwanted and ultimately pointless trend toward making a user install an app just to see content that can easily be seen using an app you’ve already got: the World Wide Web.
Here’s an example. If you use Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen it:
Let me get this straight…I COULD just play the video right inside Facebook or I even COULD go to a web page and see it, with absolutely no trouble whatsoever, but INSTEAD, I’m being asked to allow some app from some unknown developer to allow them to “post on my behalf” to Facebook.
To quote Dr. Evil, “How about ‘no’, you crazy b*&^%ds!”
But some anonymous app developer scratching and clawing to make a penny or two and then sell their company to a bigger company a few hours before all their users vanish can be understood, if not forgiven.
How about this though?
Yahoo? The venerable Yahoo? The company that practically made the WWW happen? They want to post on my behalf too? How about posting on their own behalf for starters? How is this company willing to do ANYTHING that slows a user down from using their content in ANY WAY? Like I said, I could understand a company scratching for survival, positioning itself for sale before all their users vanish, but Yahoo?
Wait…oh, right. This is embarassing. But mostly for them.
Enough sarcasm. Let me explain this if it’s not already clear: these are companies desperate to get traffic, so they’re counting on people semi-knowingly agreeing to this so that they’ll get a lot more impressions in the newsfeeds of that person’s friends. Impressions that, really, the person probably doesn’t want to put there, but hasn’t clicked on the right drop down menu to stop. They just wanted to see the video of the dog on the skateboard and figured that the same deal that’s applied for as long as web video has been around would apply now.
Nope. That’s because “social sharing” is the latest “monetization” scheme. Argh. What would be great is if all the smart people who work on developing this kind of garbage would put their lives to some kind of useful purpose. It could be just about anything, but genning up worthless ad impressions by semi-tricking people into adding an app to Facebook isn’t one of those useful things. Soap carvings, rocket science, teaching fingerpainting, opera singer: all useful. This stuff…anti-useful.
But it’s not just you and me talking about it. This morning PCWorld.com has a story titled “Facebook’s Social Reader Users are Fleeing in Droves.”
If everyone gets on this, these things could be dead in days. Dr. Evil, what should we say to social readers and the like?
I agree. Pass it on.
Sign up for the monthly Live 2.0 newsletter. Commentary, interviews and more from smart, provocative, opinionated leaders in the Live 2.0 revolution.
Copyright © 2009 Live 2.0. All rights reserved.