Facebook’s Well is Finally Tapped Out

M. G. Siegler, writing at 500ish, has some good insight into Facebook’s disastrous week.

I’ve been around long enough where I’ve heard about the end of Facebook” at least a few dozen times over the past fifteen-plus years — basically since the beginning of the company. Certainly since the introduction of the News Feed — the original sin and supposed end of the company, which actually was the start of a whole new era, both for Facebook and for the internet itself.

Anyway, Facebook is dying again. Except this time it actually is.

Yup. And some smart thoughts on why Meta exists.

Facebook will no longer be able to acquire what’s next in social networking, at least not any time soon. And so they have mobilized in VR and tangential fields. Again, this is why Facebook, the company, is now Meta. It’s a very explicit acknowledgment that Facebook, the product, is over. Not dead. And, in fact, still spinning off the profits required for those future bets. But it will never be the future again.

Finally, good analysis of why Facebook sucks now.

Let’s all just pause and take a step back. Is Facebook, the product, better or worse than it was a decade ago? I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it’s so much worse. Sure, there are newer features, some of which are cool. But in doing what it’s supposed to do, it just sort of sucks now. The vast majority of what I see in my feed is ads and/or content for things I’ve liked” over the past 15 years. There’s very little friend” content, relatively speaking. And that’s no real surprise because much of that content has moved to more private networks, namely messenger services and groups. The latter is still seemingly working well for Facebook, and honestly maybe that should be the main product/feed now? But again, that would be less good for monetization/ads!

And so round and round we go, down a drain with a clog that prolongs the inevitable. All products die given enough time, it’s just a question of if they die do to cruft creeping in, or because the North Star shifts to more monetization. Or both. Regardless, both of these open the door for something better to come along. Both of these things are pushing Facebook to get worse as a product experience, and because Facebook’s business is nearly 100 percent predicated around ads, this is all even more pronounced.

Read the whole thing.

Personally, I’m probably going to go dark on the service this year.

February 6, 2022

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