The early excitement about Facebook is long forgotten

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

Nowadays the tech community finds a home on either Twitter or Google+. Software developers think of Facebook as a social platform, but not so much of a place they would go to write about their technology ideas (I’m sure this happens to some extent, but not as much as on Twitter or Google+).

Still, there were a few years, perhaps from 2007 to 2010, when many folks in the tech community were looking at Facebook with great excitement. Facebook appeared to be on the cutting edge at that time. Digg was in the same category, but Digg suddenly collapsed, whereas Facebook continued to grow. Why? That’s an interesting question, though not my focus right now.

Public access to Facebook was in the autumn of 2006:

On September 26, 2006, Facebook was opened to everyone at least 13 years old with a valid email address. In late 2007, Facebook had 100,000 business pages (pages which allowed companies to promote themselves and attract customers). These started as group pages, but a new concept called company pages was planned. Pages began rolling out for businesses in May 2009.

I can recall at one point, around 2008 or 2009, Paul Graham said that he was looking to see if applicants to Ycombinator were on Facebook; that is, he wanted to see if they were keeping up with the cutting edge.

I knew of Facebook for at least a year before I joined it. I think I joined it in 2009. I eventually shut down my account in 2012. I didn’t find enough value in it, and it was a distraction.

I am impressed with this recommendation from 2007, which I think was a bit ahead of the curve:

Every CTO should be on Facebook. Why? Facebook could well be what applications look and work like in the future. I don’t know if Facebook itself will persist, but certainly the ideas behind it will.

By now, I assume most of us are using LinkedIn, and finding it to be a valuable business networking tool. While Plaxo is mimicing LinkedIn, LinkedIn is mimicing Facebook. You can now load your picture in Linkedin. And LinkedIn just added “today”, “yesterday”, “last week”. Guess where that comes from? Facebook.

I don’t think it would be meaningful, nowadays, to write “Every CTO should be on Facebook”. Such an assertion would get a blank stare. I mean sure, every CTO is probably on Facebook, but for personal reasons, not because they are CTO of something.

But there were a few years when Facebook looked like the future.

I can’t think of any application that has that status now. With the emergence of mobile phones, the tech world has fractured. There is no longer any one point one can look at and think “This is where things are going.”

Unless of course one is thinking of voice interfaces.

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