while some may pronounce that Facebook is all the social we’d ever need, users clearly haven’t gotten the memo. Instead, users are rapidly adopting new interest-based social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Thumb, Foodspotting, and even the very new Fitocracy. (Disclosure: BlueRun Ventures is an investor in Thumb and Foodspotting.)
The numbers tell the tale around users’ appetites for these new interest-based social networks. Pinterest, the increasingly popular virtual pinboard, crossed 10M monthly unique users in the US in January 2012, achieving 8 digits worth of monthly uniques faster than any site ever, comScore says. According to Silicon Valley uber-investor Ron Conway, Pinterest is growing like Facebook 5 years ago.
It’s also more simple, than the author makes out: Facebook quickly aquired a somewhat sour odor with their handling of game-based updates. You could see how easily people were turned off by seeing the minutae of gamers’ online activities. “interest-based social networks” help people weed out the chaff, so the pictures I shoot of the food I love to eat/see/cook, are shared on Foodspotting, and only foodspotters – who express a similar interest to mine, by virtue of downloading and using the app – see them. I don’t post my Foodspotting pictures to Facebook anymroe, unless I think I’ve shot something that has a broad, general appeal (not very often).
Facebook on the other hand, still wants you to share all this minutae with everyone in your life. And that’s simply counter to our experience as social creatures — we select and share with people who share our interests, not spam everyone with everything.
Fb took a great leap forward by copying G+’s circles feature, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. I use Facebook less and less these days, because the most interesting content, the stuff that really grabs my attention, isn’t showing up in Facebook any more. It’s the lowest common denominator stuff that feeds my News Feed.
And that’s a good thing. More control, more curation, more power to appeal to the right target audiences. I love my social networks — from the geeky specificity of Foodspotting, to the new popular girl Pinterest, to that old standby networker Facebook.