The buzz surrounding Facebook is extraordinary, and the rampup over the past 90 days reminds me of 1999. I think it’s more than accidental. Facebook have done a few things quite well. First, the design is very clean and the UI is intuitive. It’s very easy to find and do things, and there’s not a lot of crap on the screen to distract you or get in the way. Second, the performance is excellent. The site is as responsive as Gmail, which is now pretty much the benchmark for highly interactive sites. Third — and this is a huge one — is the Facebook API that allows anyone to build and run an application and make it appear as though it’s within Facebook. MySpace and LinkedIn, as examples, are scrambling to catch up on the API front, but it may well be too late for them. Facebook has the momentum.
I’ve created a few Facebook groups over the past few days: