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Have Rage Comics given a new lease to Facebook?

Explaining what is Facebook to any usual net using person is like trying to explain mobile in India. Everyone has it or has used it.

Also, every person can, in great detail tell his or her gripe about Facebook in great detail. Whether it is because of the new interface that comes every once in a while of which people complain about till they forget what the older version actually looked like, or about the stupid stuff that goes on in Facebook.

Despite everything that people love or hate about Facebook there is one thing that cannot be denied- Everyone is on Facebook.

This sounds very sweetening especially to the ears of the shareholders of Facebook as its shares are not performing as expected.

The two problems with this melody are -

  1. Facebook has reached saturation.
  2. Facebook has reached saturation.

That’s true. The basic problem is that Facebook is saturated, not just in terms of the number of users that it can add daily or monthly but also how much variety it can provide. At least it had saturated till sometime back.

The mature markets cannot add more users than there are people and in markets like India or Brazil they cannot go faster than the adoption of internet. Thus the number of users adding cannot be a parameter to measure Facebook’s success.

The second problem I think pertains to every social platform.

After a certain period of time everything looks the same and users get bored. I believe this being one of the prime reasons of Facebook winning over Myspace and also one of the reasons for the success of Google+ (how-so-much-ever the success maybe). It’s the quest for something new, something exciting that keeps users hooked.

For Facebook the first time it happened was with the games. They won over the users like anything and kept them on a leash they could not see. Zynga played a huge part with its poker and Farmville (and reaped huge benefits). Never before people were so crazy to seed their farms and tend to their farm animals. That too became boring though.

Of course, the number of users is still huge but the old users are leaving it slowly (I being one of them). Not because they do not like games but the desire for something different beckons.

In such a scenario, Facebook needed a phenomenon to keep users hooked and it came from a very primitive and unusual source.

Comics- specifically Rage comics.

facebook-comic

They are like the minecraft of comics. Anyone can make it with simple online free tools and post them simultaneously. They are flooding the wall of any person with hundreds of shares and likes garnered by some of them.

They are funny and many groups are dedicated to creating them and sharing. Suddenly, people again have a reason to go to Facebook – To check out their favourite meme.

Once upon a time Facebook for me became a source of easy log in via Facebook connect. I rarely saw what was going on my wall. Now, I often have a look at any new comics, have a laugh and go back to my work. In the stress of work that 15 seconds become a great source of motivation sometimes.

Facebook obviously got a lot of users back (and I mean back to actually spending time on it). Also, because it can be made by anyone, the interaction too is increasing.

Google+ is in the race to catch up, but due to this new ‘Rage’ people are finding a new reason to come back to their beloved, then forgotten, then revamped Facebook.

About Kunal Prakash

A graduate from IIT-Roorkee, Kunal Prakash’s love for technology was at first sight and everlasting. He is currently enjoying the first stint as a professional after leaving over 20 years of schooling. You can follow him on facebook or visit his blog for his other musings.

6 comments

  1. @Prashant: By saturated I do not mean just the users. Content too. And the speed at which facebook is adding users in a country like India can never be more than the internet adoption speed. Yes, Facebook taps only 3-4% of Indian population but it also taps over 60% of online population and that is where it matters. As for your second point, that is what I am trying to make that as the content is user generated it will keep the interest long for the users. As for G+, it is growing and because of all the gmail users, people do not even have to make an account for G+. Everyone is already on G+. The only question is can it entice people to use it too.

  2. 1. Check the numbers of India on FB from last 6 mths and you would know your ans(check last 6 mths US data too). By the way in last 2 day there has been a million fans added from India. lets not get into the debate of fake fans :) 2. Now the tanking shares has nothing got to do with the saturation of the network. you are mixing business and personal pref. And all these cartoon content are mostly user generated. so where is the lack of interest. 3. G+ has some good features but don't have numbers for now from india. Post the same cartoon on G+ and you would get the answer. by the way it's just 3-4% of India internet population on FB :)

  3. I think I can add that Facebook is dominated by younger people who are prone to getting bored quickly. They need to discover new means to keep the place lively and stay connected until a Facebook killer arrives. Your observation about users discovering comics/memes as another way to keep Facebook a fun-filled place is interesting! Google+ is struggling because of the lack of an early mover advantage but have been able to keep people interested with their ad-free (so far) experience and the hangouts feature. Also, Google+ has found popularity among the more technically inclined people. They started out quite differently from the earliest, trend-setting Facebookers; the latter began life as a site for rating college girls. I don’t think they can be easily converted to adopt Facebook as their primary means of going social.

  4. Well.. Please expand. Don’t leave your sentence in the cliffhanger.

  5. Something tells me you have no idea what a rage comic is. Or memes. Or even Facebook, for that matter.

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