Facebook Is Just A Game

During the Holidays, I met with my friends and family multiple times and one topic of conversation that came up very often was Facebook. “What’s Facebook?” my mom would ask. “Why are people so fascinated with it” my brother-in-law would add. “It’s useless” or “it’s a waste of time” would also come up very often. The proof of the whole uselessness was the “poking” and the “sending my friends a virtual beer” examples. I tried explaining Facebook the way I’ve explained it many times in this blog but I quickly realized I was getting nowhere. My friends and family members that thought Facebook was useless wouldn’t change opinion even after I explained my big social media theories. “I am Media” did not fly as well in the offline world as in the blogosphere.

What was I doing wrong??? And then it hit me…

Facebook is just a game. That’s it, that’s all.

Yes, it’s a game. Out of the 60M+ monthly active users, most of them are there to have fun, hang out with their friends and reconnect with old ones. Only a few thousands (like Scoble and me) are using it as a broadcasting platform, sharing interesting links, discovering new ways to market products, services and ideas.

So if it’s a game, it must be a complete waste of time, no? No.

Why? People are learning while they’re playing. Remember my blog post showing the speeding up between the introduction of new communication tools? This generation will have to learn two, possibly three new communication tools in their lifetime. E-mail was definitely one of them in the ’90s. And now the next phase of learning is happening right before our eyes and we don’t realize it. Facebook users are discovering social media’s opportunities and pitfalls. They’re learning to blog and micro-blog, post pictures and videos online, They’re learning the proper etiquette in a social media environment. And it’s beautiful to watch.

So, is Facebook relevant today? Yes, like training wheels when you start riding your bike. Will it be relevant in the future? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s not important. The key is that a whole cohort of web users will be ready for the next evolution, the social web.


15 thoughts on “Facebook Is Just A Game

  1. Facebook saved my life. My depression. Thanks to Facebook a lot of people was aware of what was happening to me. I didn’t had to talk. juste write some status. And people called me. Talked to me. Facebook is more than a game for some people.

  2. This is the most realistic, honest and deep thinking view of what Facebook is all about…thus demonstrating the strenght and the fragility of the application.Will Facebook survive ? will the servers host soon but a bunch of sleeping accounts with no activities ? will a new Ace succeed to the Face who succeeded to the Space ? I do not know, but I know for sure that we will see, if this happens, a serie of Ace boot-camps for developers and an integration of both social and viral key ingredients…And the ramping-up of new members will even ocurr faster than what we saw with facebook…

  3. Bien aimé lire ton billet, imaginer ta famille autour de la table, la discussion, ton cerveau en ébullition pour trouver la faille et sa solution ! Bingo ! Juste un jeu ! Tu sais que perso j’ai découvert la souris à ma première formation avec S&MG 😉

  4. Gee, too bad you didn’t post it a few days earlier, you would had 2 hits in the same year. First Scoble is media and now FB is a game. I’m happy you do blog! You’re genious! (and finaly you put a name on the fact I didn’t get along too much with FB).

  5. Wait. You’re telling me that the $4.07 I made with my Lemonade stand was a game. . . .

    Kidding. As a marketing consultant myself, I’ve tried to explain the benefits of engaging in the social space to my clients, and the missing link from a B to B or B to C context is that it’s not very easily monetized. Social spaces like Facebook can help build traffic and communities for your products and services, but selling in the social space remains a big question mark. And I think its going to stay that way.

    Great read. If I had a dime for every time I had this conversation with people. . .

  6. Its true that social network are a new way to communicate and playing in the same time. And a good thing about FB its empowering people, you can use it the way you want, playing, selling, networking etc.

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