Update: Still Facebook is Thriving. (If this makes me seem like Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" (on the other hand, on the other hand), so be it.)
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OK, ok, the phrase "jumping the shark" has also "jumped the shark," (gotten stinky old and stale), but here's why: It's not just the recent brou-ha-ha over the change in Terms of Service reported on Consumerist (which according to reports basically gives FB ownership of your information in perpetuity -- FB has since rescinded the change, says Consumerist.)
It's because Facebook is following the typical pattern:
- Write the cool new app
- Get it to be popular
- Get some press
- Make it more open, to make it more popular
- Become a place where marketers can reach people in a very targeted way
- Become a place where the marketers then climb aboard en-masse, along with everyone else who's got an agenda in trying to reach out to tons of people. PILE ON, everyone
- Get lots of press for a few things (25 Things ..., "poking,")
- Make a few fumbles
- Get to be a place where your "friends" get overwhelmed by people who aren't, really, but instead just want something from you.
- Get bad press
- See parodies from folks who should be in the "target audience group."
- Start to plateau. See user profiles lay fallow en masse
- Start to decline or become less "hot" as people move on to the next new new thing.
Here, thanks to AllFacebook's Nick O'Neill, is a funny parody of 25 things. Note that a comment on YouTube says "People Still Use Facebook?" That sentiment is becoming more frequent.