When I was first told about Facebook, I asked what was so good about it. Apparently I could upload photos, and “connect” to my friends. I said “so what”.
Later I tried it, and it was quite addictive. Not because of the photos, or the friends that I could keep in touch with the old fashioned way, but because of the news feed. I could get bite-sized chunks of news and feel in touch with people I otherwise wouldn’t see.
It’s the mini-feed that makes it addictive. The apps and endless invites are frankly boring unless you have time to burn.
Services like Twitter and Friendfeed provide that same ambient contact without the rest of the cruft, without the data-lockin, and without the endless stream of zombie bites, ultra-mega-wall spam and “gifts”. I say the same ambient contact, but it’s actually better.
This is a sample of my Facebook news feed. It’s fine, but compare it to the level of detail in my Twitter feed. The Twitter feed is user-linkable, has avatars, allows broadcast replies, direct replies, and favourites.
None of this is anything facebook can’t replicate, but really I don’t see the attraction of going back to their closed eco-system when the open internet offers the best bits, but without the crap.