This Wired article, Facebook’s Gone Rogue, really sums up the growing anger at the arrogant abuse of power that Facebook is starting to exhibit to both its users and the Internet community in general. Zuckerberg may think that the company is too big to fail, but he could be in for a shock. No-one is suggesting that tens of millions of users are suddenly going to close their account, but there’s definitely a growing number of people thinking about it. I shut my account down a few weeks ago, and I’m not alone.
Interestingly enough, news comes through today that Diaspora, a New York based open source alternative which is currently under development has received double the needed amount to bootstrap the project, so it’s going to be interesting to see if anyone makes the switch and uses the product, or something similar to it, once it’s released at the back end of this year.
The open source project One Social Web also offers a potential future alternative to Facebook, but as with all this kind of stuff it remains to be seen how/if/when people will actually start to use it in earnest, and so encourage their friends and family to make the switch. Communities are tough to build and tough to break down, look at AOL, still doing a zombie limp 20 years on.
My guess is Zuckerberg will be ousted as CEO within the next 12 months, but the rot will already have set in and Facebook will start to undergo an ultra slow AOL-ist meltdown as people start to drift away to a Google backed alternative. One to watch.
[Update: now even the New York Times gets in on the act]
[Update 2: snowball anyone?]
[Update 3: the momentum gathers pace?]