Q: Are there signs that Facebook has peaked?

A: There seems the certain, inevitable growth and decline of social networks. Myspace is a great example of how they slowly begin disintegrating as people decide they, well, suck. The network effect falls apart and the Death Spiral begins.

There are other “network effect” businesses that manage not to screw things up. The best example is google’s AdWords business that has effectively monetized search but not alienated either consumers or advertisers. Google’s also been a genius as monetizing youtube without running off either party.

With myspace and other social networks that eventually failed, I saw early signs that they had peaked. Are there similar signs for FB? I think so:

  • I’m starting to hear from advertisers that the new ‘pay for promotion’ requirement to have your business appear in people’s timelines is onerous.

  • The recent change of everyone to a facebook.com email address that is creating backlash from users.

  • The mess that each person’s timeline has become. The Facebook pages look more and more like the barf that resemble myspace pages.

  • The increase in time I’m spending on Twitter versus FB has inverted. I now find Twitter much more useful than FB’s timeline.

For the first time, I’m starting to have friends actively remove themselves from FB. Personally, I’ve started to question its utility as my timeline is now filled with spam from different “likes.”

While there’s still a strong network effect on FB, it’s clear to me that its pull is weakening for me and others.

Michael Girdley