The Facebook IPO happens tomorrow, and I have a question for my readers: If you use Facebook, are you still spending as much time on it as you did last year?

I was talking to a young Facebook user recently and asked if her new obsession with Instagram had come at the cost of Facebook time. Her answer was yes, and I got the sense that Facebook was for old people and Instagram was for the young. Ouch.

Instagram is a brilliant business concept. It strips out the best part of Facebook (Hey, look at my photo, friends!) and then makes improvements on that feature (Hey, look at my sepia-toned photos, friends!). In addition to besting the best part of Facebook, Instagram also improved on the worst part of Facebook: sketchy privacy. While a parent might ban a kid from Facebook for privacy reasons, Instagram is relatively less of a privacy issue. The keyword here is "relatively," since either service lets you post dumb comments and incriminating photos of yourself.

It's no wonder Facebook threw a billion dollars at Instagram, apparently to kill the competition by absorption. If I were Zuckerberg, and I noticed young people migrating from Facebook to Instagram just as I prepared for my IPO, I'd spend a billion dollars to make the problem go away too. I wonder if Instagram would have sold for something closer to $100 million if Facebook had already done its IPO. Timing is everything.

Readers of this blog, are you using Facebook less this year than you did last year?

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May 17, 2012
A year ago I had a Facebook account and a Facebook fanpage for my blog. Today I have neither. I prefer to use google for some things (especially sharing photo albums easily via Picasa) and more often I find myself on twitter. I'm in the 30-34 age category, and found Facebook had become a spam feat from just a couple of mates. I did an experiment over the course of a month to see if anything useful came through Facebook and not another source, and when nothing exclusive to Facebook came along, I deleted my account. Actually, I'd been running a second experiment to do with my birthday, the first year of the experiment I had Facebook sharing my birthday and got about 40-50 odd birthday well wishers. The following year I hid my birthday from mates and got only 1 well wisher. Facebook is a big vanity experiment - in my close family the only my mother uses it a lot. My sister has to use it for her job in the media industry, but seems to prefer instagram and twitter. Scott, it looks like you hit the nail on the head about why Facebook pumped so much money into Insagram..
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May 17, 2012
I'm using Facebook more than I did last year, but I think that may support your "Facebook is for old people hypothesis." This year I crossed from the 20-something crowd to the 30-something crowd, and most of what I post is photos and updates on my child's growth and development. Last year I doubt I posted even 10% as often as I do this year.
May 17, 2012
Scott, what is this "brilliant business concept" that Instagram uses?
1. Post pictures online.
2. ???
3. Profit!

Seriously, where does the revenue come from?
Is advertising the only form of online revenue there is? Eventually the advertisers want to make money too. After all, the advertisers are trying to make money from selling an actual product, not just ad-space for something else.

GM just announced that it is pulling its ads from Facebook. It turns out that clicking "like" for a GM car on Facebook doesn't actually generate a sale for GM.
May 17, 2012
I touch Facebook a few times a week, which is far less. It's mostly because there are a handful of "friends" who post endless pictures and pointless status updates, and I realized that I don't care too much about "friend spam." I spend less time online in general, these days, though. I have more personal projects and family things to fill my time.
May 17, 2012
I got on Facebook three years ago, reconnected with a bunch of old friends and acquaintances, quickly realized why I didn't keep in contact with them in the first place, got bombarded with unwanted friend requests from relatives, and promptly deleted my account.

I now have a Facebook page under a pseudonym so I can stay in contact with two friends who live in Europe, thus I check it once a month, maybe.

I hear more and more people talking about how they no longer use Facebook. I think it is a fading fad and I wouldn't invest the change beneath Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's couch cushions in it.

Other than that, it's great!
May 17, 2012
I deactivated my facebook account recently when I realized it was really an intelligence gathering service. Organize or join a rally (Occupy etc.) on facebook and see how long it takes before you are on a watchlist.

May 17, 2012
I guess I have been 'fb'ing more this year than last. I am connected even while on the move. Instagram is good. But switching over entirely..not happening.
May 17, 2012
I will actually probably be using FB more this year than last, simply because I now have a smart phone with FB built into it (my phones were standard until December 2011). Also I am going on several trips this year and more single day travel where I will be posting where I am and who I am with each day, as well as posting photos of those trips as they happen. The IPO of FB really has no impact on me because I have ad blockers & don't play apps on FB so I am not a paying customer to them.
May 17, 2012
I reconnected with the love of my life on FaceBook. We got back together and got married, but that's so 3 years ago...

I read Facebook regularly, thanks to a widget on my phone, but I rarely post anything. It's nice to see what old friends are up to, but I'm glad most of them don't post about every thought that happens to pass their way.
May 17, 2012
I'd have to say that I go to Facebook more now than a year ago. The reason is NOT all the utter mundane status updates: I'm eating an artichoke salad and listening to Depeche Mode. Seriously, who cares?

I go to FB to get to my real destination... Words With Friends. Is Zynga doing an IPO?
May 17, 2012
I use facebook for discussion more often than I use other blog commenting systems.
May 17, 2012
Some time ago I created my account on Facebook.
But I just couldn't figure out how to use the site.
Tried again after a few months, but still no luck
Deleted my account.
Am I dumb or what?
May 17, 2012
I dont use facebook but my children do. My daughter use to live on it but now she divides her time between her city home in Facebook and her country home in Twitter.
My son uses twitter much more now than facebook. I think it goes something like this, one of his friends will tweet that "Jim" "just got his truck stuck in the sand at the beach and the tides coming in" and he is out of the house and on his way to the beach. He says facebook is old and too time consuming. Twitter lets him keep up with his friends much easier.
She is 13 and he is 16.
+22 Rank Up Rank Down
May 17, 2012
What's this "Facebook" thing you're talking about?
May 17, 2012
I still use Facebook, but not nearly as much as I used to. I have found that I normally end up looking at funny pictures, not much else.
+23 Rank Up Rank Down
May 17, 2012
Proud to still not be a Facebook user. Hoping it completely passes me by, like the movie Titanic.
May 17, 2012
Proud to still not be a Facebook user. Hoping it completely passes me by, like the movie Titanic.
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