Peak Facebook

We have arrived. We are now at peak Facebook. That point of ubiquity where an online service has reached its maximum capacity in terms of active use and user base. From here on now, Facebook will decline in importance and slowly enter into a phase where it will be regarded as nothing but what its name indicates: a book with faces and names, but no meaningful networked sociality.

There are 2 billion monthly active Facebook users, roughly 26 % of the world’s population. But to see this statistic as indicative of the importance of Facebook in our lives would be a mistake. Surely enough, people log on to Facebook, even daily. I do, too. The amount of daily active users is still increasing. But for people who have been using the service for 10 years, the change is apparent. We used to upload pictures of each other, we used to add friends frantically, we used to express our thoughts. The personal is gone and all we see is promotion. Today, the type of content we see can be divided into three categories: advertising, professional publication, and self-publication.

The evidence is mostly anecdotal, as Facebook doesn’t really let us peak into its coffers. But there is a strong sentiment that ultimately, using Facebook is boring. We “share”, but mostly just odd links and op-eds dressed as status updates. Gone are the days where “Facebook stalking” was an actual source of entertainment (or problem, for that matter). Surely enough, Facebook is making more money than ever, but its becoming evidently clear that The-Once-Social-Network is becoming nothing more than an advertising behemoth and content aggregator.