So last night on the Tonight Show, Conan had a segment called “In the Year 3000”, which basically poked fun at current events/news. One of his big points was that Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook could combine to make a super-socialnetworking site for ultimate time-wasting called YouTwitFace. It was a pretty funny thought, but maybe there’s some truth to be had in it.
Let’s take a look at the history of these three powerhouses:
1. Facebook is the granddaddy of this bunch having launched back in the beginning of 2004. It was started as a place for ivy league college kids to post up pictures, shoot messages at each other, and generally feel self-important. It quickly expanded to other select institutions and eventually encompassed all of the college community. College students now had a place to hang out on the web and generally waste time by posting on “walls” and uploading the latest drunken-party pics. Well, the corporate world heard about this and felt like they were missing out, so they requested admittance to Facebook for “professional” purposes. Now hold on a second: corporations want to get in on the action of social networking? This sound like a set-up for disaster. And disaster it was, where new pages and accounts were created to link professionals together, but in reality, it just provided them a place to waste time and basically be unproductive during the workday. Of course, everyone wanted in on a Facebook account by then, so the site opened its doors to anyone and everyone with an email address, and it just goes downhill from there.
2. One year after Facebook was founded, a little thing called YouTube popped up on the interweb. Started by a bunch of technerds, they developed some quick Flash applications to show streaming video content. It was a place where users could upload home-videos of randomness, and it was a glorious little haven of fun. As its popularity grew, more and more video-uploading sites to share media content began popping up, and Google’s own Video service was in contention. However, YouTube kept on dominating the market and kicking Google’s ass, so Google said, “If we can’t beat ’em, buy ’em.” And that’s what they did. They bought YouTube for a large sum of money, and corporate sponsorships and advertising eventually penetrated the originally-grassroots website. Now, it’s filled with ads for hair products and loaded with crazy videos showcasing the latest Darwin Awards possible nominees. It really is the ultimate time-waster.
3. This little gem got started just another year after YouTube began, and it’s grow in popularity quite recently due to CNN coverage. It hasn’t changed much in the three years of its existence, and it basically limits users to 140-character statements about “What Are You Doing?”. Basically it’s a place to announce to the world what you’re up to at any given moment. Now there’s some great uses for it, like following your friends or favorite celebrity tweeters, but sometimes you just don’t care to know that your buddy Simon is “eating a turkey sandwich on a boat in the Bay”. The Twitter scene is big with professionals, as it can be accessed and posted to through a whole bunch of applications on Blackberry and iPhone, in addition to the traditional computer access. it’s a time waster, but boy, is it pretty cool to know that people are forced to read your posts if they subscribe to you. you can check out albe‘s latest tweets on the top right box of the blog.
So all in all, Conan O’Brien made a great point: YouTwitFace is definitely something to look for in the future. It might be here sooner than you know it, and it will basically consume our lives more than these three separate forces already have. Is this driving society into a state of complete mindlessness, constantly wondering about what the “other” people are doing? I think it is, and it might turn out for the worse.