Sunday, August 22, 2010

Facebook Places - Part 1: Nice BUT Huge Clutter Potential...

I have been using the Facebook Places for a few days.  Its a great feature for sure and I like the face that I can tag friends I'm with when I tag my location.

Is it better than foursquare? Gowalla?  Not really, its a completely different deal.  And it will catch on.  But it will be annoying.

The repercussions of Facebook places though, will have a profound impact on the Facebook user experience which I, and a lot of others, find increasing cluttered.

In general, I find that I tolerate a 5 or so Facebook updates a week from people and I have to hide / remove anyone that integrates Twitter into Facebook based on the clutter it creates on my Wall.  If you don't see your posts on my wall, thats why.  Sorry.

So, while I like FB Places, its 'clutter potential' is right up there with Twitter.  But why is it different?

Its different because as a discrete service, Twitter is basically a stream of consciousness service ... both for the people that tweet and the people that follow.  Foursquare and Gowalla are built on game mechanics so, while different than twitter, alerts for checking in / badges / mayorships is part of the real time aspect of the platform that make it addictive to those who use it.

We are wired this way for Twitter and Foursquare but not for Facebook.  Facebook is much more personal and its about updates, not about micro updates / hourly mood swings / following someone around all day.

So, Facebook is a smart company.  Facebook Places will be successful.  But why did the lauch FB Places?  See Part Two ....