A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg, but I’ve got a bad case of Facebook fatigue – Telegraph

In Nonsense on May 19, 2012 at 04:18

Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg, but I’ve got a bad case of Facebook fatigue 

Yesterday, when it was floated on the stock market, Facebook was valued at $104 billion (£65.8 billion). That’s the greatest amount of money any US company has been worth on its market debut. Evidently, there are quite a lot of people, some of them very rich, who believe that Facebook is worth investing in. I hope that after buying their shares in Facebook they’ve got some money left over, because I’m hoping they’ll also buy shares in the brilliant new company I’m about to float. It’s a unicorn sanctuary run by Santa.

Now, I freely confess that I’m no financial expert. But my extremely woolly understanding is that for companies to be worth a lot of money they need to be able to bring in a lot of money. And, although I’ve been using Facebook for more than five years, I’m not sure how it’s going to do that. I don’t pay anything to use it, nor would I, and I’ve never so much as glanced at its paid-for adverts. I don’t mean that I actively ignore the ads. I mean that I don’t even notice they’re there.

When you look at Facebook, your eyes, whether by instinct or by custom, focus on the feed of information in the middle of the page (messages and updates from friends and so on), and any photos featuring people you know. And that’s it. Your eyes somehow refuse to take in the ads. I couldn’t tell you the name of any product that’s ever been advertised on Facebook. Very much against my will, I can recall three decades’ worth of advertising jingles and slogans I’ve heard on TV and radio, and adverts I’ve seen in newspapers and magazines. But not adverts on Facebook. One day, advertisers will realise their efforts are as good as invisible. And I suspect they won’t like it.


Facebook IPO: as it happened 18 May 2012

How do I buy shares in Facebook? 18 May 2012

Mark Zuckerberg mocked Facebook users in student messages 18 May 2012

Facebook charges users for prominent posts 14 May 2012

Facebook: the sale of the century? 12 May 2012

But that’s not the reason I’m bored with Facebook. After all, it makes no odds to me whether the site is a sound investment, because I’m not investing in it. (My money’s tied up in the unicorn sanctuary, thanks.) I’ve simply grown tired of Facebook as a user. It’s slow. People hardly have anything to say on it – compared with Twitter, which incessantly breaks and circulates news, and inspires instant discussion of (and bad puns about) that news between friend and stranger alike. This speed makes it frenziedly addictive. It takes a feat of serious willpower not to check it every two minutes at the dinner table. And as more and more people join it (its 10 millionth British user leapt aboard this week), it’ll only become more magnetic.

On Facebook, meanwhile, you’re stuck with just your friends. Friends who, increasingly often, don’t seem to be there. Facebook is beginning to feel like the world’s loneliest party.

As if to drive us out of that party all the faster, a few months ago Facebook’s makers gave it a redesign that leaves people’s profile pages all but unreadable. You feel as if you’re being confronted by a Dadaist’s holiday snaps. Maddeningly off-putting for snoopers and stalkers (i.e. all Facebook users).

I used to check Facebook all the time. Now I barely look at it. Here’s a tip: 10 years from now, Greece will buy Facebook. It’ll cost 50 drachmas and a bottle of ouzo.


  1. How can I invest in your unicorn sanctuary? I love the idea and I think it could potentially be worth gazillions of dollars. Just like Facebook we can hype it, get some venture capital on board and start. Hahahahha.

  2. It’s interesting to hear different people’s rationals for why or why not to buy into Facebook .. I’m thinking that, if the hype helps you benefit from owning the stock, short or long term, when why not go for it

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