Have you ever wondered what Facebook is actually doing for you? Is it helping you with any of your real-life online or offline problems? Or is it just distracting you and becoming some kind of problem of its own?
I don’t read or regard most of the status updates and shares of my Facebook friends. (No offence.) My News Feed is limited to a few selected “channels”. Sometimes, when I feel like it, I am zapping through my friend lists, scanning for interesting articles, videos, or pictures. In that effect, Facebook has turned into a media platform that, not so much unlike television, runs in the background while I’m doing other things on the web.
After reading this article I started to wonder, where I’d turn to if I needed something to get done. Aren’t more particular, more focused plattforms way more useful?
Most of the interesting information I consume during the day I find on my Twitter feed. Pinterest makes it incredibly easy to share and spread pictures on the web. If I want to share my location I use Foursquare. I create and share lists on Listgeeks. If I wanted to track my fitness achievments I could use Fitocracy. I take and share pictures through Instagram. The more intimate thoughts I share via Path. Or in a phone call. I haven’t used Amen for months.
I’m aware that most of those apps and services optionally forward their activity to Facebook – where my friends can read about it. If I want to get things done or my friends want to do the same (check in, pin a picture, etc.) we have to use another, namely the corresponding service.
Facebook is aggregating my activity, but I’m not active on Facebook. On Facebook I’m on the receiving end. I consume content that is created elsewhere. You might call this a smart move because Facebook is benefiting from smaller services’ attractiveness. Or you might wonder how long it will take until another platform will substitute for Facebook. Because: What can you actually do on Facebook?