Casual Games

Facebook’s challenge

By August 6, 2008 One Comment

I was thinking this morning why it is that I don’t log into Facebook, and then as if we were somehow connected in the ether I saw this tweet from Calacanis:

just realized i haven’t logged into Facebook in a week or two. used to login 2-3x a day. hmmm… when did you login to Facebook last? trend?

The 16 responses on Friendfeed were a roughly even mix of similar sentiment and opposite reactions from Facebook fans. Six months ago I think the mix would have favoured the Facebook fans.

The reaons I use Facebook less are that for all the three core functions I used to like I now use different services.

  • Status updates – I now use Twitter, usually via the sidebar in Firefox. Nearly all my friends seem to be on Twitter and since I stopped using Flock I simply don’t see other people’s Facebook status updates.
  • Messages – people seem to have stopped using FB messages in favour of email or Twitter DMs (which I also don’t like). 90%+ of the messages I get are now from groups I have joined which makes going through them a bit of an effort. Like checking email, but less efficient.
  • The application platform – for varying reasons I have stopped using all the FB apps I used to like – I now use Tumblr instead of a quotes app, I use Friendfeed and Feeds2 isntead of Blogfriends, and I’m about to switch back to LibraryThing from VisualBookshelf. I only started using VisualBookshelf in the first place because I was in Facebook so much it made sense to consolidate all my apps there – that logic no longer replies. This is a reverse of the trend I wrote about in October last year when it seemed that Facebook was sucking in apps from the rest of the web.

About the only thing I still use Facebook for is photsharing.

I just took a look at the list of top apps and to my surprise there aren’t any games in the top ten. I was expecting to write that people were finding new ways to be entertained by Facebook, but it turns out that the most popular apps are extensions of the core FB functionality – FunWall, Super Wall and Top Friends. I suspect these apps will only stay fun for a limited time period. I might be wrong, but if I’m right Facebook’s challenge is to find other ways for people to have fun. If games are fading in popularity on the platform that will be more difficult.