So – what’s the long term thing with Facebook? In the UK at least, this summer should be a real test of the long-term viability of the platform because….. all of the students have left Uni for the summer and are holidaying / working / doing something else other than sitting in IT labs checking their Facebook. With that in mind, we should be reminded of what happened last Christmas. Students went home and in the midst of festive chaos, they kind of forgot about their Facebook and concentrated on Christmas TV, turkey and probably a fair amount of binge drinking. For 2 or 3 weeks, Facebook took a backseat: like a previously well-used toy that was put in the back of the cupboard.
Then on their return, a reasonable proportion just didn’t get back into it and for the first time ever, Facebook UK numbers dropped.
So – will we see a repeat this summer? When Seprtember starts, the returners might just not be as in love with their social platform, and the graduates just won’t have time to play with it. Are we in for another drop in numbers?
I think we’ll see a gradual change in the value put on Facebook by users that we’ve seen with tools such as Hotmail. Once the hottest thing on earth, this now is a useful but not essential tool. It’s no longer considered de riguer (not now my mum has an account there) – it’s just an appliance we use without noticing its specialness. And maybe at that point, that’s when it can become really powerful. The key thing is that Facebook must not take their eye off the ball in the same way that MSN did.