Will Facebook go the way of the Beanie Babies?

                                                          Will you still be my friend?

A web research outfit, Globalwebindex, has published its "Wave 5 Trends" study.  It suggests that Facebook my be going out of style.  Oh my.

"Despite massive global user growth, active participation on Facebook is falling and we are increasingly seeing a slow down in existing Facebook users. This is particularly true in the U.S. and in other English speaking countries where Facebook has been prevalent for longer and has shifted growth to emerging countries."

Speaking of popularity, much of the report uses the increasingly popular language of "brands" and people's relationship to "brands" as a way to gauge the pulse of the planet.

"Online consumers want brands to provide services that fit with their lifestyle. Most importantly they want brands to listen and their comments wherever they are posted ....More and more consumers are expecting brands to improve their knowledge in specific areas and connect them with other similar-minded brand users." 

This rapidly spreading blight upon the language now infects descriptions of our economy, social life and politics.  In the White House, for example, there are now grave concerns that the once robust brand "Obama" is withering as voters/consumers look for more exciting and satisfying "brands." The worry is not not that his leadership is flagging, but that his "brand" is sagging.

Evidently, among the world's most urgent problems right now is this:   

                                                     Are my brands listening to me?

Battle of the Giants: Facebook blocks Google+

While I'm undecided about which massive force to side with (if any) it's clear that Facebook sees Google+ as a threat to its "social networking" empire of several hundred million users.  The excerpt below from the International Business Times offers a  mundane example of a political artifact at work in the realm of corporate power.

"...for some incomprehensible reason Facebook simply wants to shut all doors and develop the network inside its own boundaries. In a matter of days, Facebook slammed the door for Open-Xchange's OX.IO export tool - A service which merge data from all your networks and address books to create your "magic" address book. This is the second time in a week Facebook has shut the exit door for data that users upload. In an act that can be called the height of desperation, Facebook had earlier blocked a Google Chrome extension developed for exporting Facebook Friends' lists to Google's hot social networking venture Google+."

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"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
  -- from the old radio program, The Shadow