'Mediocre' Facebook Following AOL's Path

Sam Biddle: It's trying 'to be' the Internet, just like AOL did—badly
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2011 11:47 AM CST
Updated Mar 9, 2011 1:51 PM CST
Beware, Facebook, You're Headed for AOL's Fate
A Facebook page.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

(Newser) – So now we'll be able to watch movies on Facebook. And play Angry Birds. And pretty much everything else, the way things are going. "Facebook is reaching its tendrils into every single thing we like about the Internet, far, far beyond the actual reasons we rolled up to Zuckerberg's site in the first place," writes Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. That strategy remind you of anything? Try AOL back in the 1990s.

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AOL tried to be the everything of the Internet and flamed out in mediocrity. Facebook has big advantages—it's social and not as closed as AOL was—but the site's "also mediocre, because no company online can be good at everything and so it's always ugly when they try," writes Biddle. Zuckerberg's creation "wants to be Netflix, it wants to be your Xbox, it wants to be Foursquare, it wants to be Gmail—Facebook wants to be the Internet." But the Internet's just fine the way it is, with specialized sites. We don't need another failed web portal. Click to read the full column. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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