Is it, or isn’t it? Has social networking “jumped the shark”? According to this article, the first sign that the apocalypse is upon us is the fact that the Girl Scout cookies have their own MySpace page (who knew that they were female and 90 years old??).
The question is whether the introduction of commercial messages to places like MySpace and Facebook is turning users off and “ruining” the platform. Full disclosure: we’ve done a couple of social media marketing projects that have involved MySpace pages (and will be doing more in the near future).
It may therefore not surprise you to learn that I don’t think over-commercialization is an issue, but I hope you’ll agree with my simple reasoning: if it is boring, they will not come. If you make a commercial page, and it does not have interesting content, and no one goes there and no one links to it (I am presuming you’re not spamming people with friend requests), it will wither and die silently, taking all your marketing dollars with it. How could such a non-event ruin a social networking site?
This is part of the beauty of social media – that users can pick and choose the messages they wish to ingest. It’s the democratization of advertising, if you will – if your communication sucks (as much of it does, so you’d better shape up), it will not win the attention election.