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Mike Templeton is an experienced marketer with a history in building community on the web.

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What Happens When Everyone Stops 'Using' Social Networks?

Today I saw a link on Twitter described as a ‘funny video about social media‘. The video is from Current and is titled, ‘Social Networking Wars‘. The video follows a situation between a grungy, Metallica-fanboy Gen Yer who isn’t logging in to his MySpace profile anymore. The MySpace logo starts whining about how he hasn’t logged in forever, and that MySpace has emailed him several times about a friend request, but still, the guy just doesn’t get excited about logging in. ‘”I’ll check it out when I get some time,” he says.

Who will come out on top? Maybe no one at all.

We’re better than them!

Next up comes the Facebook logo (where the user also has a profile), and Facebook brags about how he is better than MySpace. After Facebook comes a flurry of other social network logos, all vying for the guy’s time and proclaiming how each of them is superior to the other.

The scapegoat of the group is Friendster, whom everyone left back in the day for MySpace because it was the cooler place to be. Now users are leaving MySpace for Facebook. But for what? Users are leaving janky, neon-colorized profiles for a place that let’s you bite, poke and hug your friends, right after you send them an e-teddy bear for $2.

Friendster

Will users get fed up with social networking?

What will happen when people get tired of these social networks that just don’t have any real benefit to them? The guy in the video mentions, “I’ve wasted a lot of time playing around with you during the day and at my job, but now it’s time for me to get back to the real world.” Will we see a time in the near future where people drop the ‘fun’ and ‘cultural’ websites for those that are actually productive or beneficial?

Are these sites really worth what they’ve been valued at?

Another thing that has got me thinking about this lately was a conversation with Nathan Wright of Lava Row, tweeting about the recent $1B valuation of LinkedIn and how it stacks up against Facebook at $15B.

LinkedIn valued at $1B after another round of funding. Seems like a realistic valuation, moreso than Facebook's $15B imho. What do u think?

Is LinkedIn more realistic because it has business purposes? I still have trouble getting LinkedIn and finding the benefit.

Also because it's been profitable since day one. I wonder if some of Fbook's $15B is based on pure cultural significance?

I think a lot of it is based on culture. Its like the dot com era all over again, but this time with Web 2.0 shops.

Don’t get me wrong, I have accounts at Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and all the rest of them, but as I have to manage more and more applications and profiles on different websites, I find myself only logging on to those that I get real value from.

Now I’m wondering how many others out there are in the same boat?

One Response to “What Happens When Everyone Stops 'Using' Social Networks?”

  1. [...] just finished talking about social networking fatigue in my last post, but these two sites may be an exception to the rule. Because of the way they work [...]

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