My interview with News Channel 15 about the upcoming Facebook changes…and a few additional comments

Here’s what News Channel 15, IPFW’s John Caulfield and I had to say last night about the upcoming changes to Facebook:

And here are a few additional thoughts:

  • I think some of the dissatisfaction I mentioned is a result of our discomfort with change in general. We’re creatures of habit. Once we get used to something, we want it to stay the same, even if the changes promise some improvement.
  • However, I also think this case is a little different. People are getting a little fatigued with constant upgrades and tweaks that make it harder for them to get what they want from Facebook–to get what they expect from Facebook. The problem is that most users don’t want to manage social media. They want to use it. They just want it to work.
  • Social media has become a very competitive, very profitable business. The changes Facebook announced are a byproduct of the success of tools like Twitter and Google’s new social media site, Google Plus. Ultimately, I think this competition is good for users since it will result in better products in the long-term. In the short run, though, we’ll all have to accept that the when it comes to social media, the only constant is change.
  • As I mentioned in the News Channel 15 story, one of the biggest problems I see is that some advertisers and brands have made Facebook a central part of their marketing strategy. They’ve invested serious resources based on what they thought the interface would look like. Now they may have to invest even more to understand what these changes mean and how they need to adapt.
  • Anyone who’s watched the evolution of the Internet, and technology as a whole, knows how fast the mighty can fall. There was a time when AOL ruled the online world, and a time when MySpace was the king of social media. Things can change pretty quickly. With 800 million users, Facebook won’t be going away anytime soon, but what’s dominant today can be gone pretty quickly if users are unhappy and they have other options.
  • So, is Facebook changing too much too soon, or are users overreacting? I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Facebook’s free, so we can’t complain too loudly. But you always question the wisdom of giving an audience something it never asked for.

What’s your opinion? Are the upcoming changes to Facebook something you’re in favor of, or do they make it more likely that you’ll spend time elsewhere? 

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