Is Facebook doomed?

Cory Doctorow thinks so, in a piece subtly titled "How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook":

Sure, networks generally follow Metcalfe’s Law: "the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system." This law is best understood through the analogy of the fax machine: a world with one fax machine has no use for faxes, but every time you add a fax, you square the number of possible send/receive combinations (Alice can fax Bob or Carol or Don; Bob can fax Alice, Carol and Don; Carol can fax Alice, Bob and Don, etc).
But Metcalfe’s law presumes that creating more communications pathways increases the value of the system, and that’s not always true (see Brook’s Law: "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later").
Having watched the rise and fall of SixDegrees, Friendster, and the many other proto-hominids that make up the evolutionary chain leading to Facebook, MySpace, et al, I’m inclined to think that these systems are subject to a Brook’s-law parallel: "Adding more users to a social network increases the probability that it will put you in an awkward social circumstance." Perhaps we can call this "boyd’s Law" for danah boyd, the social scientist who has studied many of these networks from the inside as a keen-eyed net-anthropologist and who has described the many ways in which social software does violence to sociability in a series of sharp papers.

Cory has many more complaints  – and a separate one about privacy here.
Meanwhile Seamus McCauley thinks Facebook advertising is dead on arrival because people will get plug-ins to block Facebook ads the same way we all use Firefox to block the advertising on the rest of the web.

At the heart of Cory’s complaint is the idea that Facebook tries to trap us into eyeballing the site by, for example, sending highly uninformative messages – "Bob has send you a message on Facebook, click here to read it". He believes that we’ll all give up soon enough because it’s all too annoying.
I tend to agree. My research on rational addiction suggests that even heroin addicts will quit if the circumstances that led them into the habit change. If they can kick an unwelcome habit, so can Facebook users.

Tim Harford’s blog

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Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.