For those of you who use Facebook this will come as no surprise: I’m addicted. I don’t know what it is about the site, but something has me completely hooked. Lately when I think social networking, I think Facebook – it seems to me they have found the magic formula. And I really want to understand what that formula is.
Here are a few “magic ingredients” that I have come up with:
- Human Connection. I think it’s human nature to want to be connected to other humans. Obviously, this is the core of Facebook’s product. Sure you can share links and write notes and such, but the core idea is connecting with other people, and everything seems to be designed with this in mind (you can tag people in photos, notes, etc.)
- User Interface. With the exception of the ugly banner on the left side, the site is clean and the layout is mostly consistent. I think for the same reason people love Google’s simple front page, people love Facebook’s simple interface.
- News Feed. Aside from being an efficient way to display information, the news feed makes logging into the site many times a day worthwhile. There’s always something new to see. Try to imagine Facebook without the news feed…it’s hard isn’t it? This is a key feature.
- Almost Live Casual Communication. I think Facebook is great for communication that falls somewhere in between instant messaging and email. Like a simple “hey how’s it going” that doesn’t require an immediate response, nor an entire email message (which would appear in your inbox alongside important messages and spam). The wall is definitely another key feature.
When they first decided to open the site up to everyone, expanding away from their original audience of college students, I wasn’t sure if it would work out. I figured it might make Facebook seem less attractive. Turns out my suspicions were wrong. Facebook is definitely going mainstream.
I’ll think about this some more, but what you do think – why is Facebook so addicting?
Oh, and if we’re not friends on Facebook yet, add me! Here’s my profile.