Facebook Says Bye Bye Networks – Taking On Twitter, LinkedIn & The World!

As if the Obama speech wasn't enough excitement for one night, about an hour ago (9:23PM), Mark Zuckerberg addressed the 350 Million legion of Facebook users and announced, in a not so subtle way, that Facebook is making it's move to take on Twitter & LinkedIn.  Regional networks are out, and now there are only 3 degrees of separation.  It's either your friends, your friends friends, or the world!  The social wars are about to begin – and if we're talking about Networks, though Twitter is what I consider the most “exciting” and flexible communications platform, they happen to have the least scalable and robust infrastructure of the big three.  Here is an excerpt from Mark's speech.  

“…Facebook's current privacy model revolves around “networks” …This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students…now more than 350 million people around the world are using Facebook…The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone…”

You can read the full letter here. I've talked about how I just have been unable to explain or understand the pace of innovation of the Twitter development team – it hardly feels like a “hot startup” anymore.  In fact, when I read about Jack Dorsey's new Square venture, it gave me pause. What exactly is the priority and focus on Twitter while the braintrust is working on other ventures?  I am spending less and less of my time on properties since all the innovation is happening elsewhere – with 3rd party clients and web sites providing a Twitter experience that far eclipses that of the new “retweet” button – though I enjoyed that feature for the first few hours it was available.  

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of the service blips and performance challenges that plague the twitter platform.  The above screenshot depicts what I fear more and more folks will start considering, if the Twitter crew doesn't pull up their socks and start acting like the startup and innovation engine that allowed them to leapfrog the competition.  The mighty Twitter might have been the word of 2009, but 2010 is around the corner, and the stakes are high.  May the best social network win! Who has your vote? And will someone swoop in and pick up one (or more) of these players? I think 2010 will be big for the LinkedIn-Twitter-Facebook triad.  It can only mean good things for you and I – great times to be on the cutting edge of social networking.  It just gets better from here….let's hope the same can be said for Dorsey's crew. Like Tiger Woods, think they took a wrong turn off the road they had traveled so well..stick to the plan boys, and good things will follow!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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