My mom asked me to describe the difference between the two social network behemoths, and I came up with the following metaphor:
MySpace is a 12-year-old Korean girl, and Facebook is a 28-year-old hot school teacher.
I think that adequately sums up the offerings of each system. For some more in-depth analyses, you can check out what used to be an Ebaum's World video. Remember Ebaum's World? I certainly don't.
When the social networks first started clamoring for my attention those many years ago, I was their dream customer. A single, twenty-something, college-going, computer-nerd male... that's like MySpace gold. But I avoided any and all social networks like the effing plague. Something rubbed me the wrong way about the nature of their services. I can't really explain it.
Eventually, I joined because I wanted to be able to keep in touch with some overseas acquaintances without all that International Calling Card nonsense. Apparently email was beyond my friends' capabilities.
This was back before MySpace started allowing people to design their own profile pages. Yeah, brilliant. Give people with no experience building websites complete access to HTML and CSS. I mean, what precisely the fuck were they thinking? It's just asking for trouble. Not just in the form of malware, hacks and viruses, but in really bad design.
WARNING - Holier-than-thou designer rant begins here.
Like most designers, I use Apple Macintosh computers to get things done. Back in the mid-nineties, before Steve Jobs emerged victorious from his death match with the CEO that ousted him, Apple was in serious trouble. One of their problems was sales; they just weren't moving enough products. They couldn't understand why. They were doing exactly what their competitors were doing, i.e. offering a huge product line with all kinds of obscure names and numbers like Perfoma 2800 and Quadramatic 3849.
When Jobs came back, he simplified. By reducing the product line from 12 computers to 2, he saved the company. Why? Because consumers don't want to have to choose which system is the best for them. They want to know it instinctively.
Which is what Facebook is like. You don't have a bunch of completely unnecessary and ultimately harmful options from which to choose. You have only what you need in an elegant package that can quickly and easily give you what you came for.
END OF RANT
In other news, I'm still "Singing-In-The-Rain" in love with the Netflix Watch Instantly service, but who isn't?