Marketing_Guy - 3:31 pm on Sep 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
That may be true Panthro, but the ability to do that is based on Facebook's critical mass of users - i.e. most of your mates are on it and quite of the few that aren't are pressured into joining.
The problem is that when FB shift the "snooping line" to the negative for some people, the critical mass begins to shrink as people leave. Then social groups shrink and become less effective for other groups of people (who start using it less) and the situation snowballs in the wrong direction (for FB).
The question is will these changes attract / keep hooked enough users to prevent that (or at least compensate for it)?
G+ on the other hand faces a much tougher challenge of building up that critical mass first and I'm really not sure they'll be able to do that.
HMV in the UK tried launching a social media site for music / films back in 2008 called Get Closer. It lasted a year before it was shut down. They wanted to create a social media site where users basically built their own IMDB clone on which the company could intelligently sell their products to (based on user interests, etc).
IMO it was the underlying commerical interest being put first that killed that idea before it ever could take off. Can FB or Goog apply that commerical interest retrospectively? Maybe, but I'm not certain it would be good for businesses or users.
Mass market groups of people are fickle and normal business logic rarely applies. Perfect example is today's BBC News homepage. The headline article was about the world economy going sour (FTSE 100 dropped below 5000 for the first time in a long while). But the most read story was about Ireland's first ever diagnosed case of spontaneous combustion...that's mass market for you!