Look at this recent quote from Techcrunch’s Mike Arrington “
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:
- web user interface standards
- friend lists
- photo sharing
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?