Has Facebook Jumped the Shark?

I’ve never found the social media sites to be particularly useful. I’ve tried Orkut, Gather, and a few others and just never found a benefit that exceeded the time investment required.

Facebook seemed to be different. I joined a few months back and actually found myself visiting a few times a day to see what various people were up to. A large number of my Facebook Friends were other bloggers or writers, so it was a convenient way to keep up with their latest posts as well as DC area gatherings that might be of interest.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s very popular decision to allow outside developers to create add-on “applications” for the site has ruined what I found best about the site. Here, for example, is my news feed as of this morning:

Facebook Jumps Shark

(I trust I’m not violating any confidences by sharing this inane information about people without their express consent. If I’m wrong, I apologize.)

I’ve tinkered with the feed preferences for two weeks in a vain attempt to get it to quit tellling me which applications others had added. I deleted all the applications I had added since I would otherwise be deluged with notes about what books people were reading (which, since the application is new, usually meant which books people had already read….years ago). Why on earth would anybody want to keep up with this sort of thing?

Is this an attempt by Facebook to get back to its roots and appeal only to high school kids? Or am I missing something?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Matthew J. Stinson says:

    In fairness, the Word Magnets app was kind of boring. Heh.

    I think Facebook should default to not showing Application install/removals in the News Feed. Instead, you should be able to get a list of your friends’ Applications on the Application Directory page.

  2. I agree. It clutters it up. Facebook needs to offer the option to not show the application notices. They do that with e-mail notification.