Beyond Facebook: The Rise Of Interest-Based Social Networks via @TechCrunch

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.

Called it!

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.

2 thoughts on “Beyond Facebook: The Rise Of Interest-Based Social Networks via @TechCrunch”

  1. 1 – i partially take back what i tweeted earlier about you raising a valid point, but only because of pinterest. check this out:!/autom8/status/1720923732774789152 – given my longstanding 120 char lifestyle i’d have to say i’ve been in "beyond facebook" mode for quite some time now, ever since i started referring to it as faceshmook and especially ever since when my iphone started offering that spelling in autocorrect.also—as i continue to rail on FB—i abhor the seemingly universal consensus that FB is the utlimate social benchmark. and not because i have this twisted love-hate relationship with it [well ok maybe that factors in too] but more so because of how random factors converged over a short period of time to inadvertently hyper popularize a now strong and apparently indelible, entitled brand. and it is this very notion of entitlement, fueled by hubris and greed, that kinda bugs me. so ya. ’twill never be a social benchmark for me.i think techcrunch is fine. however, i don’t readily advocate all their perspectives. by the same token, i do admit to favouring the perspectives of other tech blogs/bloggers..there are certain nuances in story telling that either make me immediately cringe or hyperventilate in agreement. the transparency in disclosure often points to a hint of (if not blatant) bias. all depends on who has an interest in what (oo there’s that word ‘interest’) and sometimes it gets really sticky when the blogger is also an investor! ya, that path mini-saga was maudlin at best – you were indeed correct in noting how tech blogs shape and evoke that lasting fad-feeling.aanyway, yes i do see your point in noting the value of interest-based networks. are you really spamming less or is it more like "sharing content more effectively" (which sounds kinda whacked) but it speaks clearly to the "no, you’re not spamming me, i just don’t give a shit about what you share" syndrome. ergo, effective sharing.odd. depsite the check-ins, plussing, instagraming, pathing, oinking and wha-evah i do on other networks, i still save my loudest (and most frequent) bullhorning for twitter.

  2. Amusing to see that TechCrunch is in such decline these days. Fads come and fads go, I guess?Or is it, "All the world’s a stage… and Arrington’s acts are seven pages." ?

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