Back in July I discussed the idea of a golden application on Facebook. Just today, Kara Swisher posted a similar thought. Kara, who appears to spend a fair amount of time on Facebook herself, supports Chris Anderson who says that most Facebook applications are crap. I couldn’t agree more. There are good ones though and while attending the Graphing Social Patterns conference in San Jose, California I have had the opportunity to see a few of them.
The question remains: are there going to be highly useful applications or will they all be for fun? There are many naysayers and I’m beginning to wonder myself. Will there eventually be applications that I need to use on a daily basis for productivity purposes? There may not be. If you think about it, Facebook is trying to be the “social operating system.” Working and productivity are not really social activities. The largest applications on Facebook are going to continue to be the social ones. For those that believe the web will all go within Facebook, I would have to disagree.
Facebook will continue to manage our social connections better than any of the other social networks. Theoretically, Facebook could attempt to own the social backbone of the web, but with a few hundred employees I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Dave Morin spoke today about Facebook’s focus on openness. Facebook is open to the extent that you will build on their platform, a concept similar to how Microsoft built Windows.
Facebook will continue to be a tool that enables me to keep in touch with my contacts. The golden application is going to be one that furthers this and many of these applications already do. For those of us that think a “golden application” that provides an immense amount of utility and productivity will arise, I am beginning to think that it just won’t happen. Does Facebook need utility focused applications to survive? I don’t think so. What do you think?