Do I need to create my own social network?

You'll need a compelling reason to cut your social network off from the rest of the social network universe

You'll need a compelling reason to cut yourself from the crowd

Look at this recent quote from Techcrunch’s Mike Arrington “Creating a separate social network makes little sense in the age of MySpace and Facebook”.

He’s highlighted a key change in thinking on how to build your social network platform over the past year. The big social networks have effectively commoditised vast swathes of previously competitive functionality:

  • authentication
  • web user interface standards
  • friend lists
  • groups
  • events
  • email
  • notifications
  • photo sharing
  • discussions

If you’re building a new social network on your own web site you’ll need to build all of the above. Not only that you’ll need to make sure the experience is as good as, if not better than these million dollar competitors. If you’ve got a complex sign up process – forget it – 80 million Facebook users really can’t be wrong.

There are very few decent reasons for implementing your own social network. These are as follows:

  • you’re dealing with commercially sensitive information that you don’t want Facebook or Myspace to see (think about intranets for banks)
  • your demographic aren’t on one of the big networks and probably never will be (this might legitimise the Saga zone business proposition but I doubt it – the crinklies are coming to Facebook I have no doubt, it’s just a matter of time)
  • your content would be illegal on the platform (you can’t gamble on Facebook so gambling communities need their own poker network etc)

Any other reasons people can think of?


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One thought on “Do I need to create my own social network?

  1. Dave Nattriss September 3, 2008 at 7:02 am Reply

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