Yes, You Can Have Too Many Friends
from the backlash dept
In all the fuss about the supposed value of social-networking sites, one factor is seemingly being ignored: what the sites' users make of their growing popularity. Unfortunately for the likes of MySpace and Facebook, it's not all good news, as the problems popularity can bring is leading some users to give up. They say they're overwhelmed with advertising and spam, while some Facebook users aren't happy with changes it's made, including the decision to open itself up to everyone, rather than being closed to students or employees of certain companies. MySpace and Facebook's growth is slowing, and traffic at the sites fell in September, though their execs say it's just a seasonal issue because kids were going back to school (which you'd think might increase their use of Facebook, but apparently not). So despite all the money being thrown around in this space, it's still got plenty of issues to work out, the biggest being just how to monetize their traffic. It's easy to slap ads all over the place, but it's much more difficult to do it without alienating the users generating all that traffic.