The WSJ ran an article called MySpace, ByeSpace? discussing people opting-out of the online mega-social-network-portal. The report notes slowing growth and even a reported decline at some of the social networking sites. From the article:
After Ms. Thompson created a MySpace page two years
ago, she found herself sifting through dozens of requests daily from
would-be acquaintances seeking to link to her page. By early this year,
she’d amassed 4,000 such "friends," most of them strangers. Many
flooded her page with remarks like "omg" — shorthand for "oh my god"
— "you’re so beautiful." By June, Ms. Thompson, who resides in New
London, Conn., was sick of the comments and posted a farewell ode
before deleting her page:
"good bye myspace.I’ve always hated you.I just never had what it took to leave"
Ms. Thompson belongs to a fringe of Internet users now
renouncing MySpace and other social-networking sites — not in spite of
their popularity, but because of it.
And it backs it up with some data like a good newspaper should
Both MySpace and Facebook lost visitors in September, according to
Nielsen/NetRatings, a Web-tracking service. The number of unique U.S.
visitors at MySpace fell 4% to 47.2 million from 49.2 million in
August, and the number of visitors to Facebook fell 12% to 7.8 million
from 8.9 million.
Perhaps most predictably for social software sites with an invite/reply method, the article also notes the emergence of spam. Spammers affect software design. More specifically they kill open systems so the designer must focus on defending the user.