Just reading that Facebook is not only the biggest online social network, it’s the fastest growing, makes me wonder what this phenomenon is, why and what it’s bubble looks like? With my new phone I have been far more engaged with micro blogging to Twitter via the iPhone app Twinkle and think it’s all about touchy feely technology.
You know that buzzing feeling you can get when you have met up with some friends, caught up on how they are and been able to tell them all about your mad bus ride, amazing weekend and the new sofa you want? The almost physiological but definately psychological need we have for contact with our friends is wired into us. Online social apps that further enable this only go to serve this need.
Take the Facebook status function. It sits top of the news feed so when we log on via the web or indeed mobile, it’s prominently showing us who is what where and when. Being the social beings we are, we almost feel compelled to post our own wellbeing (or not as the case may be) and there is born the electric wiring of our social need to be plugged into our network.
The reason I think Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the like are more a phenomonon and not just a fad is that they provide mini-buzz creating connections to our networks. An almost addictive habit is born, to see who responded, who is happy, sad and all along filling our need to feel connected. I think the Facebook application craze was a fad – I am no longer being asked to be a pirate best friend secret gold fish giving vamp. I am a social touchy feely techie though.
So what about that bubble… I am not sure this has a bubble to be burst but rather a situation where change will become iterative, it already is. Individual services may rise, fall or burst but the behaviour has long been here with initial versions of online blogging happening with Geocities already in ’96/’97. Already we are able to link blogs and twitters and social networks seamlessly, connect by SMS, WAP and Web and these are really just additional channels to our network. As there was no bubble for the telephone, I think there is an interesting journey to be had with touch feely social tech.