Well, well, well.
Perhaps there is something that the mighty Facebook doesn’t do quite so perfectly.
Not so fast. Stumbleupon’s raison d’etre is the passing of traffic. Facebook’s is not. And Stumbleupon is wonderfully designed to fill its one niche, and fill it admirably — to get traffic moving.
Facebook, on the other hand, continues to evolve as much more of a social site. Probably Facebook’s best and most important feature is one not even found, specifically, on the site. Rather, it’s your ability to log into other sites using your Facebook login. In this brilliant conception, the data from Facebook ends up applying to job search websites, blogs, ecommerce, etc. All those other sites have to do is partner with Facebook to use that login. And Facebook garners even more data. It’s a powerful combination.
Is it a violation of anti-trust laws? My guess is no, because you can log in through other means. Just because Facebook is providing a more convenient means of logging in does not mean that it’s monopolizing logins. Using the same logic, well, if a product captures 99% of any given market, it’s not a violation of anti-trust laws just because that product is better, cheaper, more efficient or can be purchased in a more convenient manner, so long as its existence as being a cheaper, better, etc. product does not come about through unfair/illegal means. The spirit and purpose of anti-trust legislation is, certainly, not intended to squelch good and proper competition. Success is not illegal.
So Facebook, despite being the huge elephant in the room, doesn’t necessarily capture and control every tidbit of the Social Media universe. And I think that’s how it should be. After all, a world only seen through a Facebook filter — much like a Friend Feed when you’ve only got one friend — would be rather dull indeed.
For more information, see the January 3, 2011 post on Soshable.