I have started to notice a small, but significant change in the way I am surfing the internet. It’s been growing since summer 2007, but it’s only recently I realized that my surfing habits have changed. Talking with other people my age (I’m 25 by the way) reveal that I’m certainly not alone.

So what is it? How have my surfing habits changed?

The answer may come as quite a surprise, but I’ve found that I’m visiting Facebook.com less and less. What used to be a daily ritual (I was sad enough to check multiple times a day) was reduced to every other day, which in turn has reduced over time to maybe once a week.

But this is not a phenomenon restricted to just me, lots of people are using Facebook less and less, just check out this graph:

pageview percentage for Facebook and other social network sites

It shows, as a percentage of all sites on the internet, how many page views it gets per day. As you can clearly see, MySpace has been on the wane since July 2007. Facebook continued to grow, probably as it took users away from MySpace, but since December 2007 we can see page views have declined.

So what’s the reason for this? Are social networks losing their value?

I think not. The biggest turnoff for me when it came to Facebook is the multitude of useless applications that flooded people’s profiles, turning it from a clean elegant way to keep in touch to a constant battle to reject or ignore dozens of application requests each day.

In effect, with the addition of outside applications, Facebook turned in to everything I hated about MySpace. What’s next for Facebook? Glitter text? How cheesy and tacky can Facebook go without losing it’s original users who joined because they didn’t like the gaudiness of MySpace.

I know I’m not alone in this, infact, ReadWriteWeb interviewed someone who was one of the original users of Facebook and asked her opinions on where she thinks it’s going, this is what she had to say…

When they started to add new features like the wall, photo albums, video capabilities, and groups, people became more interested. But then Facebook took it too far. Now I find Facebook to be a suffocating bombardment of useless applications and features. I prefer an older version of just the basics – messaging, walls, photos and groups.

15 Questions For an Early Facebook User – 7th January 2008, ReadWriteWeb.com

So, does this make me homeless in terms of social networking? Certainly not, I will keep using Facebook, although my usage grows less and less each day.

What I am on the look out for is a social network site that can offer the sophistication and decorum that Facebook offered in 2006, before they tried to go mainstream and convert the MySpace weenies.

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