facebook estimates they have 83 million fake accounts and some are avatars like i was, some are pets (clever pets!), and some are for spamming and to sell illegal “likes”
i liked having a facebook account for Ener Hax – it provided another channel for discussing blog posts but it was against the fb TOS
there are many active avatar accounts and it would be nice if they were allowed as personal profile pages (just add a pseudonym flag). the only way Ener Hax can have a facebook presence is as a Facebook Page which is what companies use but they don’t have that same personal feel as real accounts. i understand why that is not in the best interest of facebook – that interest being the ability to sell your data and command top dollar for it
now that facebook is publicly traded they are stepping up their efforts to remove fake accounts because they have to estimate their legitimate accounts to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. the number of “good” accounts is what gives facebook its high value but that value has been beat up lately with shares falling more than 50%. their opening cost was $38 a share and yesterday they were down to $18.06 per share!
that’s a big drop and there isn’t even a competitor out there! it’s not like MySpace’s decline which was in part due to facebook as a richer competitive service
so why is facebook seemingly tanking?
there are lots of reasons from “lock-up expiration” to perhaps overly estimated initial worth. there is also the tremendous media hype that occurred when they first announced they were going public which put them under the microscope and set high expectations (sound familiar?)
apart from the financial market factors, i think we see something familiar here much like what happened with Second Life – tons of media hype with the thought that this was the next best thing ever and also the Gartner Hype Cycle. facebook is over eight years old and people have been there and done that. it’s natural for the shine to wear off and for people to move on
facebook isn’t dead (S3.7 billion in revenue last year) but it’s not the next best thing either – still, i wouldn’t mind having Zuckerberg’s bank account . . .