Facebook Applications: Initial Thoughts
Everyone woke up yesterday to the fruition of the new Facebook Platform and all of its related third-party applications. For those that missed the boat, this is a big deal and it seems cool. It’s like buying third-party gadgets for your iPod, except you put them inside. Let’s face it, no one likes an iPod burderened with FM transmitters, battery chargers, and the like.
I, like everyone else, started adding any application that looked cool. iLike music service. 30 boxes calendar. Box.net file storage. Oodle Band Tracker. And then it hit me. I’m MySpace-ing my Facebook. What have I come to?
The reason why people have adapted to the other Facebook features (posted items, the NewsFeed) is because they were directly integrated with Facebook. While these are integrated with Facebook, they currently add unnecessary clutter to every page.
I see Facebook as a way to tersely provide necessary information about yourself and, secondarily, a method to keep up to date with friends. These new applications don’t add to either one of these uses but rather add another layer of mud on top of a good system.
Just because we’re stalking each other on Facebook does not mean that I’m going to check what your 8 different applications have to tell me, especially if these applications are inefficient (more on this in a bit). Most of these new applications seem to be subtracting for the concept of a social website, or they are the evidence that Facebook is no more than a waste of time. The RedBull Roshambull is one of those.
Some of my friends’ pages now exceed 8 page-heights on my laptop.
All of this criticism should be seen as directed at the developers of these applications. Applications that are useless fluff will fall by the wayside. Truly ingenious applications will stick around and grow in popularity. The iLike music application, for example, is great in concept, but it’s still rough around the edges.
I now realize that this is quite the curmudgeonly rant. Maybe I’m being too hard on the system.
May I’ll write a HackCollege application someday. Now I just have to think of what it would do. Any ideas?