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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Culture

The secret of Facebook's success: Obnoxious, useless applications

Facebook has gotten fat on stupid applications. How can we fix it?

The New York Times has an insightful (and funny) article on the secret of Facebook's success. Facebook's increasingly open platform lets in a wide range of applications. However, if you've spent more than a few seconds on Facebook, you know that all that glitters is not gold. It's not even copper:

So far, though, the applications fall mainly into two categories: the silly and the annoying (and sometimes, both). Users can throw virtual sheep at each other or take part in zombie attacks on their friends. Recently, many users received a message entreating them to "click 'forward' to see what happens." After clicking, users discovered that nothing happened except that they had annoyed their friends with a pointless message.

Amen. Is Facebook a way of letting our the juvenile in each of us? Or are people really as inane as their Facebook activities suggest?

I pray that it's the former, and that Facebook application developers will realize that there are grownups among us who would use the site for activities that drive real money to Facebook if it would just encourage application developers to write code for the rest of us.