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Quick thought on blindly copying Facebook features

Quick thought on MySpace “News Feeds” – it seems as though right now, there’s a huge amount of pressure to copy a significant chunk of Facebook’s differentiated features, particularly:

  • Newsfeed
  • Self-serve advertising
  • App platform

I very much wonder how useful it is to blindly copy Facebook’s features, and treating the audience growth issue like it’s a technology problem.

After all, consider the Newsfeed, which is a really interesting feature – it seems to mainly work in the case where you have a lot of personal friends where you care if they updated something in their profile, etc.

But in the MySpace case (and in fact, probably for all social networks who embraced the "open friends" strategy), it seems as though you’d end up getting a lot of news from people who you really don’t care about. Because it’s fun to be Barack Obama’s friend on MySpace, but it’s not as common as Facebook.

So the question is, when does it make sense to copy those features? Or are there situations where it’ll very much disrupt the community because it’s taking something that doesn’t belong and trying to integrate it?

Just something I’m thinking about…

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