Are Facebook, MySpace And Open Social Networks Dead?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on November 16, 2007

The rise of gated social networks, where you need a “key” or invitation to get in, is throwing doubts on the future of Facebook and MySpace. The opening of these social networks to advertising, the commercialization of the audience’s personal data and relationships, is leading to a big exodus of people, at least the folks I know who have been on Facebook for a long time.

The latest issue of IN has a great piece on the growing popularity of invitation-only social networks, for both business and pleasure (some combine both). There are now networks for hedge fund managers, telecom folks, rich people, smart people, and even chief innovation officers (Monitor is launching one of those). The CIA has one. Maybe we should have one for bloggers—or do we, in effect, already have one of those?

Check out some of these exclusive, gated social networks. Do you belong to any of them? And why?

Reader Comments

Meridith Evett

November 16, 2007 7:59 PM

I am on Myspace almost everyday and it is how I keep in touch not only with my long time friends but also with my new and dear ones as well. I believe most people use Myspace for the same reason. As far as I am concerned it well get past this bad press and live on and getting continue getting better.

csven

November 17, 2007 5:32 AM

Closed social networks have been gaining momentum for some time now. I first noticed them cropping up before social apps like MySpace and Facebook; back when internet forums were getting hit with waves of spam and some went underground.

Do I belong to one? Not to one of the one's covered in the article, but yes, I do belong to a private social network. I started it. Why keep it closed? To keep out the spammers and trolls of course.

And fwiw, same topic just broader in scope: http://blog.rebang.com/?p=1370

Jon Campbell

November 20, 2007 2:58 AM

In an attempt to get a bigger audience and ultimately greater ad dollars, Facebook opened their network to people outside of college. The problem is you water down your offering. You can be incredibly exclusive and offer advertisers incredibly targeted young, educated people, who feel part of something special or you can create an audience of "people who eat food," and potentially open yourself up to competition you might not have had before, etc. This may work brilliantly but I'd rather be the only one who does what I do, and take the profits off that. They could always have created a second network for those that "graduate" out of Facebook and suddenly have another exclusive, niche property.

Maybe that's just small-time thinking by me but I'm sticking with the theory that "mass" media is not something you can just translate to the online world as a replacement for television. It's about focus.

As for belonging to any of them - no, I'm not that important. But my parents are family friends with the parents of the modelshotel.com founder. That's as close to greatness as I'll get in that world. :)

csven

November 21, 2007 4:18 PM

@Jon

Similar thinking to what I wrote in the link posted:

"If Facebook had retained its niche market and let that feed into a larger niche network aggregator of their making (Lifebook?), then they’d have the option of allowing not just plug-ins for the one application, but marketing-specific plug-ins for a network of modular applications serving targeted communities."

hb

November 26, 2007 4:26 AM

This is just in schools around here..

-Everybody have facebook
-Many people have myspace but never really use it.
-and what's the other one? people never heard of it.

I think myspace died here because facebook is just way easier to use.. like the search thing on myspace is a joke. All these Match.com "is ok to look" ads. didn't help either.

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About

Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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