Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Facebook Apps Are Still for Toddlers: The Visual Proof!

Last year, BoomTown caused a tempest-in-a-Web-teapot by asserting that Facebook apps were, for the most part, inane.

And, while many said the market would develop from the frivolous to more useful–making Facebook a true “utility,” as promised by Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg–that day is not today for the social-networking site or its third-part widget makers.

pinocchio

Instead, it’s still Pinocchio at Funland (and we know how that turned out!).

While this is great news for my 3- and 6-year-old boys, it still makes grumpy old me dubious.

Because, as I wrote in a post called “The Children’s Hour: Facebook Apps Are for Toddlers (There, We Said It)” that was published last October, I still assert that businesses based on Zombies and apps called Pop Ur Zit are questionable models:

But, so far, as popular as those apps have become, what Zuckerberg and the widget-makers have wrought is mostly silly, useless and time-wasting and the kazillion users of these widgets are pretty much just acting like little children.

I never thought I would call the often frivolous AOL (TWX) back in the day–very simply, a Neanderthal version of Facebook–a mature offering in comparison…

And if that is all there is, can Facebook really build a viable and long-lasting business on what is essentially a bunch of games that will ultimately become wearying for users? Doesn’t it need more robust apps that actually are useful and relevant and make Facebook the service that Zuckerberg has often told me was a ‘utility’?

While Facebook–with a cleaner and more strict look and a better navigation–is surely less goofy than rival MySpace (NWS) for anyone over 12 years old, and its video, photo and email features are nice, the vast majority of its apps are still mostly as dumb as a box of hammers.”

Unfortunately, that’s still the case and today, we have a nice chart below from FlowingData to help our little case along from a visual point of view (click on the image to make it larger).

fbapps

Case, unfortunately, not closed.


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— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”