Today there is talk of doomsday for Facebook. Between the failure taking place with the CBS Sports March Madness application and Henry Blodget posting that Facebook may be the next AOL, today is not a good day in Facebook land. Henry Blodget points out a few reasons that Facebook could be doomed. The primary reasons are that the thrill is gone for many, geriatric users don’t like it, Facebook doesn’t have a business model and finally that Facebook is still a walled garden.
Ultimately, Facebook is still on a tear and the applications that used to spam users are slowly fading away. I don’t think geriatric users need to be huge fans of Facebook for the site to be successful. Then again without those users is Facebook the most efficient social tool? Henry Blodget also points to a recent Economist article that says Facebook needs to open up or face certain death.
I agree and I back in September I suggested that Facebook tear down their wall. I still feel the same way and Google’s new Contacts API makes it even more critical. Facebook is not an ignorant bunch of people though and you can pretty much guarantee that they know what’s coming. The real question is timing.
The longer that Facebook stays closed, the longer that they own the user. This is one reason I would argue that they haven’t torn down the wall just yet. So when will it happen? I’m guessing we’ll see it happen in the next 6 to 18 months. Until the average is educated about the problem with being walled in, it won’t happen. So for now Facebook isn’t doomed, they just need to make sure that they remain agile to keep up with the rapidly changing environment that was forever changed when they first opened up their platform less then one year ago.