Can Facebook Be Everything to Everyone?


Posted on 10th May 2012 by Nouveau Geek in Geeky Pursuits |Social Media

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Facebook is trying to be everything to everyone–from connecting with friends, to gaming, to career networking (Facebook’s Branchout), to photos (recent acquisition of Instagram) and music, Groups for Schools, and most recently, File Sharing for Groups. It doesn’t matter how many features Facebook tries to cobble together: they can’t be everything to everyone. What’s next, business productivity tools? If they are indeed trying to be everything to everyone, business productivity tools seem like the next logical step for Facebook, now that they’ve rolled out every possible way to capture our attention from an entertainment perspective. Then they’ll have every eyeball in  America 24/7.

But it doesn’t work that way. I work for a company where all employees work remotely. We suffer from “productivity tool schizophrenia:” we rely on HipChat for internal day-to-day communication; Skype and Webex for client and business partner calls; Google Chat integrated with SnapEngage for customer support, which then forwards tickets to Zendesk; Go2Webinar for webinars and demos; Google Hangouts for team meetings that require screenshares; HootSuite, Seesmic (mobile) and Ubersocial (mobile) for social media; Google Docs for document creation, sharing and collaboration; Amazon AWS for file storage; MailChimp for campaigns; Jira for ticketing; and the list goes on. Either we’re not very efficient, or each of these tools fulfills a very specific need that one single tool cannot ever provide. I believe it’s the latter. There’s no way Facebook can touch this.

Same goes for my personal needs for multiple tools for finding and sharing music, storing and sharing images, communicating and socializing. As an example, I will pay for multiple music services because they don’t cost very much, and each one has features unique to them. Pandora One costs me $3 a month and plays a random stream of music so I don’t have to mess with creating playlists. Great for hassle-free background music during the workweek. On weekends, I like Spotify, when I have time to search for music and curate playlists to my liking. I think that as ubiquitous as Facebook is (or tries to be) there are too many really good cheap or free choices out there to stick with just one thing.  And, maybe ubiquity is not Facebook’s intent, after all. They seem to have the resources, so they can cover all bases whether or not people use all of their tools and features.

Do you think it’s possible to have a single tool or social network that can fulfill everyone’s needs? Is Facebook striving to be everything to everyone (and will they succeed?)

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