Will May 8, 2010 be a red letter date in Facebook history? Will Betty White’s monologue on Saturday Night Live mark a turning point in the fortunes of Starship Zuckerprise?
In case you missed it, heeeeeeere’s Betty:
“[Facebook]…sounds like a huge waste of time.” [pause for laughter.] “I would never say that people on it are losers, but that’s only because I’m polite…We didn’t have Facebook when I was growing up. We had phone book. But you wouldn’t waste an afternoon on it.”
Betty White gaveth, then tooketh right away. She acknowledged Facebook for her appearance on SNL. But the howls of laughter were telling in what she tooketh away – the coolness of Facebook.
With over 400 million users, it has become easy and customary lately for Zuckerberg and crew to trot out the stats of an ever-democratic customer base (Your Mom’s on it! Your old high school buddy too!). Any major Web success has gone through this transformation, including the overall Web itself, of course.
But what will “Facebook democracy” look like in three to five years?
What happens when the power user of today gets a real job, where there’s no time to play? Where meetings are in person? Where messages are email, not text?
It would be nice to see Facebook’s usage data by age group, but even so, something seems amiss when you consider stats like the “average user creates 70 pieces of content each month” – barely two per day. Or that less than 10% update status daily.
This is low engagement that can go lower, especially as Facebook continues to Keystone Cop one privacy issue after another.
Where do the Club Penguinz kids go next? History shows that each generation rejects the habits of its predecessors.
Behind the scenes of all this, of course, is Facebook’s business model, which remains advertising dependent, and the cause of those highly relevant and contextual “flat belly” ads all users get. Again, something seems amiss. F&cked up, actually.
With the exception of Obama, Starbucks and Facebook itself, the content of the top 10 Facebook pages are an idiot’s delight. And yet this is the water to which today’s marketers are being led to drink by the “gurus.”
Betty White has given us something to consider. She just might have helped splinter the Splinternet.
And we can thank Betty White for one more thing – for reminding us that SNL remains one of the most overrated products of all time.