With the introduction of Google+ to the social networking scene, it’s understandable that most people would want to try it out to see how it compares to the existing ones they are currently using.
As early as 2 weeks ago, netizens had been abuzz about the new service presented by Google. Facebook , understandably, was alarmed. It responded in kind by announcing its integration with Skype’s video chatting service. What it resulted to was an annoying bug that forced anyone who logs in to participate in any form of chat—video or otherwise.
But the notable thing about these recent developments is the reaction of the average user.
From Facebook to Twitter, the general consensus is that the service is ‘good’. With people asking for invites left and right; nevermind if it’s from dubious sites offering it and asking for your email add to spam your account to death. As the site is still not 100% available to the masses, only an invite from a registered user would suffice. Very much like what they did with Gmail a few years ago.
I’m sure the general sentiment about it being ‘good’ or ‘better than Facebook’ or any other sites is honest and devoid of any sarcasm. I’d probably react the same way had I tried it myself, and I’d give out my opinion about it as soon as I do (I already have the invites; not signed up yet, but that’s for another post). For now I’d try to give my perspective about it from the outside looking in.
It’s just that I have already seen these very same reactions before: About Facebook in comparison to Friendster and pretty much everything else. If there’s anything about this current buzz about a new networking site proves, is that people really have very short attention spans.
But the site does feature a whole slew of services that is not readily available to Facebook and its ilk. Or a different way of virtually interacting with everyone else. And for users like me who are constantly barraged with a neverending stimuli of visual spectacle from jumping from one site to the next , the promise of a different interactive social networking experience is definitely not something to be passed up.
Or to simplify: everyone likes a new toy.
The common source of people’s dissatisfaction with a networking service has always been about it being too crowded and ‘noisy’. That Friendster has degenerated into a site populated mostly by people with the grammatical skills of pre-schoolers and refined tastes that would most likely consider a canned fruit cocktail as a ‘delicacy’, was one of the major causes for most people to haul ass and start their virtual life anew in Facebook.
I myself made a solemn vow to strictly limit my contacts to people I knew personally and not go over 100 friends, as a projection of that in actual life would prove to be even smaller. Last time I checked, I’m already approaching the 450 mark.
And I know i’m not the only one this kind of thing has happened to. The catchphrase “The Friendsterfication of Facebook” has been going around for some time now. And the obvious meaning behind the derogatory phrase is no doubt about how the entire network had been breached and is now devoid of its so-called exclusivity. It was even stressed provocatively in the David Fincher film by the Winklevoss twins: Exclusivity is the key. Or at least being the first in signing-up to such an “exclusive” event. If Maitre D’s were available online, I’m half-expecting those manning the invites-only sites are snooty beyond comprehension.
It has become a big exclusive fraternity party. So when the time comes when another one opens up and the new had become the obsolete old, one can always say: “Been there, done that.” Let the philistines have at it, right? As long as you already had your fill.
But the biggest question would be if the average user is willing to go through the hoops set by the major companies for them. Is signing up to a new one in addition to the truckloads you are already maintaining, really worth it?
Why did I even ask.