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The Fall of Facebook

The source of this blog post can be found here:  link!

Facebook seems to have won the popularity game, with more than 800 million people using the site on an average day. Website popularity is often unpredictable, but as the use of Facebook became more commonplace and well-known, it became easier to invade the tightly knit clusters of friends who might have avoided using it until their relatives or weak-tie friends started. Indeed, Facebook is so often used that many speculate that it will continue to be successful based on current Network theory.

However, there are more ways that people are connected, even when ignoring the highly influential network of current friend relationships. This article describes an advent of a new type of app or website, which ignores the influence of friendship or current ties, and instead amplifies another similarity that can be found within groups of people:  geographic proximity. If the benefit comes from personal enjoyment and interaction with strangers that are close by, instead of the knowledge and fun of having your friends use the same site as you, then there is a new type of decision process that is being made which is less reliant on your friend networks and their decisions (ex. not the Coordination game anymore).

Tinder and Yik Yak are two examples of this new kind of website, which isn’t reliant on how many of your friends are using it. It is still true that you rely on your networks to even hear about these kinds of apps, but the choice to use it is more based on your purposes and preferences, and less based on your friends’ decisions. This is a very small distinction, a subtle difference between Facebook and some of these newer apps. However, it is unique enough to slowly shift society’s decision making process for website usage, and perhaps powerful enough to pull people away from the pervasive power of Facebook’s social web.

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