Why following MySpace will hurt Facebook

MySpace is the “king” of social networking and has been for quite some time. Yet, Facebook is rising with rapid speed, especially since they’ve opened up their platform to allow developers the opportunity to create cool widgets for profiles. They’re embracing their users and providing them with a great amount of control over what they have on their site.

But, not as much control as MySpace. Users can change anything and everything about their profile (fonts, colors, images, banners, etc). Now, should Facebook allow the samething?

THE social networking blog argues that Facebook should allow users the ability to customize their profiles. I doubt this is in the scope of Facebook’s strategy, otherwise, they would have already allowed it. I’d have to disagree with Linda Roeder, although I respect her for her knowledge in Social Media.

Here’s why becoming more like MySpace will HURT Facebook:

  • They’ll lose users.  Plain and simple those users who left MySpace for Facebook will drop off.
  • Drift too far away from their strategy.  Facebook has set out to provide a social network where people can express both professional and social likings.  Unlike MySpace, its purely popularity and social…nothing more.
  • Too much customization = slow connectivity! MySpace literally got on my nerves, it was just too slow b/c of all the customizations, weird backgrounds, and tons of pictures.  Facebook doesn’t allow any type of profile customizations whatsoever.  Is this a good thing though?  Yes for the time being.
  • Spamming.  I must get around 10 friend requests a day on MySpace, and 9/10 times they’re spam.  I hate this, but so far I have not had one spam friend request on facebook.

Now, some people argue that Facebook is too boring and leaves no room for customization.  Not even a font color change, but will this really hinder Facebook from becoming the next King?

I’d have to argue that font colors won’t mean anything.  It’s who evolves with their users fastest and provides the right freedom.

Facebook opened up their platform to developers to create whatever modules they want.  Since then, traffic has sky rocketed and other colleagues of mine have joined.  MySpace still hasn’t done so…I’m past trying to make my site look pretty, I looking for functionality improvements.

To me, functionality prevails over the anesthetics.  How about you?