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Why Facebook Needs a Hit

on . Posted in Social Networking & Communications

facebook_logoWhile Facebook still reigns over the social media kingdom, boasting over 750 million subscribers and $4 billion in sales so far in 2011, the site seems to have hit a snag. Essentially, Facebook hasn't come up with anything innovative in recent years, and is unfortunately falling victim to the curse that so many businesses have fallen victim to; getting too big for your own good. Facebook, it seems, has begun to stray away from their core audience; people that want to interact with their friends. Instead, the site has tried to incorporate a litany of options to do so, leaving many people to wonder just what Facebook is anymore.

In the beginning, the concept was simple. You signed up, filled out some info about yourself, uploaded a picture, started adding people, and before you knew it, you were stalking your friends. Most people enjoyed the fact that it was simple, as the "less is more" approach is a key element to survival on the web. Google has proven this time and time again by remaining minimalist in almost all of its offerings. However, as Facebook has grown in popularity, the site's developers seem to want to cram anything and everything into the site and it seems that no one has told them that the vast majority of users really don't care about this stuff.

For instance, Facebook began offering email addresses. What no one stopped to think about was the fact that people already have so many personal email accounts, social network accounts, work email accounts, school email one wants another email account! It doesn't matter what the domain name is, it's just that people are overloaded as it is. Facebook has also toyed with pushing its Places feature, but users already had other sites for that. As well, they tested a daily deals type of offering, similar to Groupon. Once again, however, there are already sites for that! Facebook has failed to realize that people want to use Facebook to Facebook, not to do other things.

With all of that said, Facebook has come up with innovative features in the past, and the site in and of itself is innovative, but in order to keep that momentum going, they are going to need to find a simple, useful offering that people will actually care about. Every company is going to have duds from time to time, but the way Facebook's current track record is looking, they may need to wait until next season to have another crack at this year's championship.