Jun 30, 2009

[Social Networks] Is It Time to Leave Multiply?

Image representing Multiply as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

A few years back I decided to streamline my online activities and cut down on my social networks. It took some doing but I eventually killed of Friendster, Ringo and Birthday Calendar at the very least a few other specialized ones. What I was left with was pretty much LiveJournal for my personal blogging, Shelfari for my books, Flixster for my love of movies and Multiply to act as my photo sharing center and pretty much mirror of my personal blog and my Geeky Guide reviews. The arrangement has largely worked out over the years, that is until I finally gave in and created a Facebook account.

As annoying as some of the changes have been to Facebook, the site remains one of the most robust social networks (and gaming website) that I've ever seen and the ease of which I can share random images, videos and interesting links is something that's hard to match using any other service.

Recently Multiply has been making a number of changes too and what's most annoying about the changes is not just how awkward the interface has become, but the fact that they're clearly trying to copy Facebook in some made attempt to remain competitive somehow. This has me thinking - is it time to leave Multiply?

As always, the main things keeping me on Multiply on Multiply are (1) the sheer volume of content I've loaded onto my profile and (2) the network of contacts I maintain there. Number 2 isn't as big an item anymore, I know - most of these same friends are also on Facebook or share some other network I cater to like Plurk or Twitter. Ultimately, contacts were one of the last things tying me to Friendster as well when I was weighing my options and it became a no-brainer whether or not I should stick around.

So now it becomes a question of content - my personal blog entries are all there, albeit only as an exact mirror of my LiveJournal blog. Most of the photos that I have on Multiply are already on Facebook, although migrating those uniquely on Multiply will be painful since I no longer have the hi-res originals for any of those photos.

Oh Multiply, I was much happier with your old interface and how this kept you unique. Now your Inbox is clearly trying to mimic Facebook's News Feed. You've added the option to create Notes as a way to "compete" with Facebook's status messages. You've even added a suggested friends feature just like Facebook. Why are you doing this? Why are you trying to clone Facebook? If Multiply starts offering applications, I am so done and over with the site and I'll just stick with Facebook, I suppose. Why should I maintain two sites that try to do the same thing, albeit one does it a lot better.

And it really does! Sharing videos, links and individual images are a LOT easier on Facebook than they are on Multiply. Why the heck did you change your video import process? Why does a new tab / window need to be opened to edit the video I just imported from YouTube? Why is posting a link so complicated? Why did you have to hide my nice visual network calendar like that? The questions keep on coming.

Have you readers ever found yourself in the same fix? Do you find yourself wondering why your social network of choice has turned into yet another Facebook clone? Do you ever find yourself thinking that you're maintaining too many sites that all do the same thing?

What's your criteria for whether or not a social network or website is worth keeping? When do you decide to abandon ship? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter- just mention it in the comments or maybe even email or IM me directly.

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  1. I LOVE facebook! I find it easier to navigate. Easier to access. No frills such that when you are viewing pages, you are not burdened by a large background graphic or music streaming.

  2. @Pinoy Gay Guy Confidential
    I know exactly what you mean! The streaming music remains to be one of the most annoying parts about it.