Smokey Robinson said it best when he sang I don’t want you but I need you.
As one of the most gifted song-writers in the popular music genre, this observation of what it’s like to be in love with someone you know is bad for you is beautifully crafted.
It also kinda sums up most people’s relationship status with Facebook.
I can’t think of an example of another organisation with such a vast following of people who are so quick to voice their dislike of the service.
And therein lies Facebook’s problem. Timelines and profile tweaks aside, it needs to do something about the toxic relationship it has with its users, many of whom are only sticking around because their friends are too.
It’s like a massive Mexican stand-off. If the day ever comes when enough people finally walk away from Facebook it could start a craze.
So far there hasn’t been a viable alternative to lure people away. For all the fuss, hype and expectation, GooglePlus won’t do it. And there simply isn’t anyone else with the size and reach to be a realistic threat to Facebook.
That’s not much of a business model though, is it? Our customers are stuck with us and we are stuck with the fact they don’t like us.
If I was gambling man, I’d be looking at Renren as a possible longer-term Facebook rival. But that’s probably a topic for another day.
In the meantime, Facebook has to do something to stem the tide of discontent and griping.
Will Timeline be enough to do this?
No, of course not. But if it forms part of a coherent strategy to start putting people at the heart of the Facebook experience, giving them something to like – in the real sense of the word, not a silly fake Facebook like – then maybe it could be on to something.
Now, why not treat yourself to Smokey Robinson & The Miracles singing You Really Got a Hold on Me – the video and audio quality isn’t the best, but it’s worth it. Your soul will thank you.