Has Facebook taken people away from using forums?

Discussion in 'Community Organization' started by simonetta, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Yes

    101 vote(s)
  2. No

    43 vote(s)
  3. Other

    14 vote(s)
  1. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    Mostly the internet is driven by greed. Everyone wants to get a piece of that intangible pot of gold that we're all led to believe is out there in the ether. but you're right, trend cycles have a lot to do with the current state of things.

    Aside: I really get tired of all the terms flying around. Everyone keeps talking about the competition between forums and social media or social networking. Just to clarify, forums are, by definition, social media and being a member of a forum is being part of a social network. Amazing, I know, but for all these years we've actually been the trend setters. Facebook or forums; they are all part of the same thing.

    Of course it is. As soon as you monetize something like the web, you create a need for more traffic. Page views are what is important, not what's on those pages. But that isn't the issue with Facebook vs forums.

    There are probably some really good discussion groups on FB, just as there are some pretty shallow and useless forums. What Facebook understands is that people are lazy and the more you spoon feed them, the more complacent they become.

    In the early days of the internet and web (for those of us who remember it) innovation was everywhere. No two sites were the same and everyone loved the adventure of exploring new places and learning new things. Your computer was like the Enterprise (Come on, there has to be one Star Trek reference in a post this long!) taking you on a journey to new worlds.

    Now we've become lazy and complacent about it all. No one finds it amazing to be sitting in your underwear at your computer in Moose Jaw, sharing ideas with someone in Reykjavík. We no longer want to explore or figure out new sites and new ways of doing things. Joining six different forums means six passwords and having to learn the rules and structure of each forum. Enter Facebook, the McDonalds of the web. All your groups and all your contacts and all your everything under one roof with one sign-on and one interface. Sure it's pretty bland and sterile and most of the people there are idiots, but once you learn how to get around on it, you don't have to think any more. So we stay and be just like everybody else.

    I don't really think there's much of a competition here. Good quality niche forums will continue while those that are too shallow and unfocussed will fade away. It's harder to attract new members now because people no longer join a forum just because it looks cool. But if it provides good content and a good atmosphere, it will still grow slowly. And in time people will get bored with the sameness of Facebook and it's like and start moving back to the individual sites. At least until a new Facebook arrives.
  2. AF

    AF Enthusiast

    You have seen the light ... alot of forum lovers are in denial ...

    Once Facebook fleshes out its killer email system, niche groups, ecommerce, chat groups, lets not even mention
    more addictive games in the pipeline ...
    ALL forums will be affected because the programming quality will drop for ALL forum owners.
  3. TrixieTang

    TrixieTang Politically Incorrect

    Forums have gotten harder to make successful over the years because there are already bigger and more established boards out there for almost every subject imaginable. This was the case even before Facebook even came into the picture.

    In the end, Facebook is just another site, and to say that it will end up destroying forums as we know them isn't much different from saying that Gaia-Online or 4chan should have destroyed forums as we know them, and we know that that didn't happen.

    If you have unique content, or do something unique, then you'll be far more likely to succeed these days. But that's the result of many existing forums, blogs and social networking combined, it is not the sole doing of Facebook.
  4. JulieVA

    JulieVA Habitué

    Yes Koto....for example, every mom & her mom has a mommy BLOG.

    They are all freaking blogging about coupons and no one is reading each other's blogs LOL!
  5. hari

    hari Tazmanian

    Yes, I have, but that doesn't help forum owners because trends keep changing.

    We might see a revival of forums at some point of time though. But that doesn't alter the current situation. Even the manner of discussion has changed of late.

    And another thing. The traditional bulletin board layout with the front page dedicated to the list of forums and sub-forums is no longer fashionable and it's also inefficient in terms of content indexing. It is clunky and painful to navigate. In fact, I hardly ever use the forum front page these days and simply view the "new topics" link which is much easier and gives a better idea of overall forum activity. That shows the problems of the current forum software and lack of development vision among forum software currently.

    (edited to add extra content)
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  6. cpvr

    cpvr Tazmanian Master

    What are they posting on Facebook? If they're creating applications, its so they can build their brand name into something bigger than just a community.

    I don't think Facebook can hurt any niche forum, especially when its already being developed, and is attracting members. The fact is, forums are apart of the social media era and have been around a lot longer than most of the social networking sites these days.

    So, if anything, communities will continue to be around, but some will fail and some will succeed, but it's always been like that, hasn't it?
  7. AngelaGiles

    AngelaGiles Aspirant

    Probably. People are not more interested in logging on their Facebook accounts because they think it's more fun to be there than to participate in forums.
  8. Gallitin

    Gallitin Aspirant

    I said no. Reason being I'm not friends on facebook with anyone that I'm on forums with, so the only chatting on facebook is with friends from real life.
  9. AF

    AF Enthusiast

    sorry ... my recent observations show the trend being more niche

    groups forming and taking conversations away from forums ... remember

    the forum software programmers have done a piss poor job of programming

    for easy use ... ANYBODY can start a niche group on Facebook for FREE. :coffee:
  10. Capt Boosers

    Capt Boosers Enthusiast

    Anybody who is saying forums are at or below what they were 4-5 years ago missed the boat somewhere. I've learned how to harness facebook to drive traffic to my site. I have facebook groups dedicated to my forums that are growing quickly, and I'm reaching a whole new demographic that otherwise would have never found my forum.

    Facebook will destroy "social" sites but anything niche driven should be growing by leaps and bounds right now. I have noticed the "chatty" threads down across my network, but this is great because now the posts are more on topic and my google weight continues to rise.
  11. AF

    AF Enthusiast

    It would be interesting to compare which niches are getting hit

    and which are benefitting from FB etc ... remember also FB is just getting started and

    the forum developers are falling way behind ... just look at TAZ and their last update

    zero innovation :)
  12. Capt Boosers

    Capt Boosers Enthusiast


    Who cares about updates. I certainly don't. In fact most of my sites are so modified (vbulletin 3.7) that I will never change them.

    I truly believe that facebook isn't going to grow much more. In fact myself and many others are starting to get sick of it. Hell, even my mom and dad don't go on there anymore, and they're old :biglaugh:

    Look what happened to myspace. Look what happend to linkedin, sure we can attribute some of the decay to facebook, but over all I don't think facebook is going to takeover everything. Currently facebook has a 40% reach across the net, but the over all time spent there per user is actually heading downward.
  13. AF

    AF Enthusiast

    FB can become another myspace ... we are not there yet ... remember

    FB outsmarted myspace and all the others ... this time it may be different

    time will tell :)
  14. cpvr

    cpvr Tazmanian Master

    Not really. Niche forums are also doing pretty popular. I wouldn't say Facebook is taken people away - but it can also help bring in more people to forums.

    I agree. FB is just another site people can go to if they're bored.
  15. Zero Numbers

    Zero Numbers Adherent

    I feel sorry for owners who found it difficult and quitted. It's a tough business.

    And no, I don't think Facebook is taking people away from forums.
  16. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    I agree to some extent, but do you think forums would see higher levels of activity if Facebook didn't exist?
  17. animezero

    animezero Aspirant

    I think people will go out more often and socialise
  18. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

    Actually, I think mobile (phones) has done more damage to the forum community (and internet traffic as a whole)
    Phone users have a much higher bounce rate and lower pages / time spent per visit. Here is a chart of the last month on 1 of my sites. You can see Tablets aren't bad but phones are killer. I believe its the form factor and small size. I use a responsive design so the playing field is pretty much equal between the three.

    Personally, I hate using my phone for internet but don't mind using my tablet. The phone is just too small and frustrating.

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  19. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

    The phone part is a good point. May also be why wikis and blogs have struggled a bit too; because they're often awkward to work on with the tiny on screen board and stuff on a phone.

    Makes me wonder what a forum designed to be used on a smartphone would look like...
  20. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

    Also think that's a good point.

    Guess forums in general due to how they get used and being more complicated than the likes of twitter and facebook for using, they just ain't mobile friendly enough for something like normal small phone screen.

    Could be forum needs to evolve to something far different and easier for using to suit small mobile devices, as everything is going more and more towards mobile use and less PC usage. I voted OTHER because it is things like this and not just Facebook alone killing forums.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
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