The Facebook backlash? No, but funny all the same

Facebook has overtaken MySpace in the UK not just in numbers but in general mind-share in the media and water-cooler conversation. We appear to be obsessed with it. Even to the point where deleting your Facebook profile is actually equated with something as serious as suicide.

But there comes a point when too much is too much. And it’s reaching that point where being bitten by Vampires, poked, super-poked, asked to ‘friend’ someone you’ve never met or to join a group which means nothing to you could well be that point, at least for some people. This is nothing new to the social software gurus, bloggers and online veterans out there who are used to main-lining feeds and detritus of incoming information. To them, all this is water off a duck’s back. But to the mass of the population who never bothered with MySpace, but somehow thought Facebook was going to be more manageable it is all rather a new experience, and there are signs they are getting very tired of it all.

Evidence comes in today via Guardian Technology editor Charles Arthur of this tiredness. It’s a mocked-up Facebook page (see picture) doing the viral email rounds which would probably more accurately reflect how we all feel when being poked, bitten or ‘asked to answer a question’ feels utterly pointless.

Some tamer quotes include:

• Someone you barely know was farted on by someone else’s Mistress Vampire
• God and the Devil are now friends
• Another pissing Vampire attacked another Vampire
• Updated: Someone you hate and someone you’ve never met added the PissingUpTheWall application
• One of your best mates is attending a party that you can’t afford to go to
• You have 746 Zombie invitations
• 1 ‘TV Shows You Hate’ invitation
• Updated: Nothing is happening. Click refresh. Again.

The reality check is that I don’t think this kind of thing is going to be a serious issue for Facebook’s growth. All publicity is good publicity, right? And let’s no be po-faced about a little fun like this.

But it does go to show that the unbridled growth of the platform, and the cultural differences in other parts of the world (in the UK, the US Frat-house sounding applications and groups often don’t sound attractive to UK users) remain a hurdle to Facebook’s quite serious localisation strategy. It also shows that the new features of being able to classify your Facebook friends into groups like ‘business’ or ‘family’ or perhaps ‘people I only know online’ can’t happen soon enough for some.