That’s the thing that’s hard: Facebook is _brilliant_ at grabbing, holding, and continuing our attentions.
It’s hard to get bored here once you join a few groups. Constant movement and activity, feed items being shuffled all of the time. It’s brilliant, which makes it devastating for competition.
You have more niche-interest sites. tumbr, 4chan are very specific. Google-plus always has promise (I’ve been a frequenter since it was Google Circles) but they’ve made recent drastic changes that I haven’t bothered to adopt much of yet.
Lots of dead social networks abound. Yet, many are alive and active. Myspace is still around and in constant use by some people… bebo recently reemerged from the grave… and there’s always a myriad of forums on the ‘net.
But facebook brings it together in the way that email and Usenet used to do, and AOL inbetween them.
So, yeah – it’s tough to break free of the blue and white.
I frequent Vine. I’m hooked on it. It’s a smartphone only service – and like many others, very specific. It’s for short 6 second videos. I use it like a social network, even though that’s never been its intent.
Many things that people use nowadays instead of FB are all “for ppl already friends”. Kik, Snapchat, Whatsapp – all strong payers in their own ways. Then you have gaming. People who you don’t know exist are doing their social networking on Steam. Or on their XBox or WiiU or Playstations.
When I was doing a Minecraft server, most of the ppl on it never had ANY social network acct: the virtual worlds that created and joined in Minecraft were *it* – and likely still are for many still.
So, I dunno. FB is general enough that it feels like a “homepage to the Internet”. Google’s “searching for websites” thing almost feels old now and common and a utility.
I’m definitely curious what’s coming on the horizon though. I try to keep my eyes open for it.
I had to give up on most privacy in 2002 when Google acquired Usenet newsgroups. I had stuff I wrote on there from the very early 1990s that were suddenly very pubic and I was like, OH NO NO NO NO NOOOO….
and got about 5 ‘uh-oh’ posts zapped. After that, I took a deep breath and dove into my no-privacy future.
So, I’ve had a lot of practice in the ‘yes you’re public now that you’re on the Internet” tongue emoticon