Let me begin by saying I am a Facebook fan. I have no business connections with the company and to be honest I regret that.
But in the last few weeks I've noticed that:
- The number of blogger complaints about Facebook is on the rise
- The amount of spammy groups, notifications and messages coming my way is on the rise
- The number of new groups that interest me is on the decline
- The number of times I hear "Facebook" in conversations is on the decline, while the number of Twitter mentions continues to rise. This matters. All sites compete for the exhaustible research of attention.
Is this a trend. I have not a clue. But it is an early warning sign. Every time something experiences phenomenal adoption, whether it be Facebook of today or Hula Hoops of yesterday, it takes time to sort out whether or not the phenomeon is a trend or a fad. Personally, I think Facebook is a trend, but it needs to pay attention.
First, Facebook needs to keep refining itself, and there has been very little change in the site since I joined it several months ago, Second, it needs to respond to very real user concerns on privacy and ownership as Risto Linturi has expressed. Facebook, like any other company, will find it's reputation can rise or fall quite quickly if t fails to listen and respond to legitimate criticism.
Personally, I think Facebook remains in the most promising position of any new company I know. Social Networks is the killer app of social media and Facebook is the most enjoyable place I have yet seen to meet people with whom I share common interests. But change is in an accelerated mode these days, and if Facebook does not pay attention, it could very easily find it's position more vulnerable than it appears to be today.