WE ARE GIVING Facebook a one-year flight test, imposing membership in Facebook as part of two modules in the creative multimedia degree programme at Tipperary Institute. By April, several dozen essays will reflect on the experience of being inside the Facebook ecosystem. Some students are not impressed with this academic requirement "because it's stupid". When asked to explain their perspective, they reveal a facet of Facebook that has bubbled up inside some focus groups: some students find Facebook applications very annoying and consider them to be the equivalent of spam.
This complaint manifests itself most articulately among the best-connected, tech-savvy students. The truth of the matter may be that Facebook applications have become a liability to the brand. If Facebook management is looking at this issue, you would imagine they are also considering more control of applications.
On a related note, I cannot fathom how the internet industry can seriously endorse the valuation of Facebook at the $100bn level. The fact that Microsoft has sipped the Facebook Kool-Aid makes a Web 2.0 bubble look ever closer to popping.