And one of the things that attract me to FB is that its so much more than I expected it to be, so here's my 7+2 surprises from FB:
- Sure, I'm 15-20 years older than the peak of the average FB user, but I'm totally not alone: found quite a few known faces there. It's not a network "for teens only".
- The integration to 3rd party applications is great. I can see my friends, my interests, my events and much more here. you can control everything from FB interface so no need to leave.
- Reviving and enjoying connections is not a mantra: here you can truly get in touch with old friends, see what they're up to and what's happening in their lives.
- There's a face to that name (kind of an emphasis to the last point): one of the things about networking is that it is so much more 'human' when there's a face attached to the name. It makes a huge difference, I think. Also, people can express themselves in yet another dimension, not to mention the date seekers :-)
- It's truly a "personal network", in that people are encouraged to express their own "profiles" to their taste and personality. It seems that FB's structure has not been as appealing to bands (as MySpace has), for example, and even their advertising is not so 'in your face'. It feels very comfortable and "clean" experience.
- There's enough to make you stay longer: The richness of applications and network features invites you to 'stay and play'. There's something for everyone because it's the people's network, with infinite dimensions to it.
- An iPhone-equipped friend let me see her FB profile on her iPhone. Awesome. No extra words needed.
- (Suggestion:) One thing Facebook could help me with is to consolidate all of my various address books into one place. Frankly I don't care if they are FB users or not, but it would just help me so much. And then be able to sync these with a mobile device or export to other APIs.
- (Weird:) FB doesn't allow (to my best knowledge) outsiders to have a peek (or test drive) at what's inside before signing up. Sure, signing up is free but still people may find it strange to sign up for something they know nothing of. In that, FB bets on the word-of-mouth to be powerful enough to make people sign nevertheless. I think FB would have done good for themselves if they had something more compelling on their front page for new users.
Here's a useful site that compares social sites features...looks like they have MySpace setting the tone. Anyway, they both are a lot of fun, and it will get better. I recommend giving FB a try it if you have the time.