The battle is pretty much over between Facebook and Myspace and Facebook took the title hands down. Myspace still has many millions of users but Facebook is the heavy-weight these days. So what does this tell us about the average web user today? It tells us (or me anyway) that people prefer a good user experience over complete freedom of expression through their own personalized web page design. Myspace gives you the freedom to create a completely unique webpage of your own, including custom images, Flash animation and control over styles via CSS (cascading style sheets). That’s pretty much all the average user could ask for in a social networking page. But apparently most people don’t care about complete freedom of expression through page design; they’d rather have a better user experience in a controlled environment. Of course Facebook’s “better user experience” is just an opinion but the numbers seem to justify that opinion.
Another factor is that people who aren’t artistically inclined can be intimidated when confronted with complete freedom of design. It could be that the average user felt that Facebook’s simpler approach leveled the playing field. No longer are users forced to “compete” for the cooler looking page. With Facebook, everyone is playing by the same rules. It’s more about the content than the unique presentation of information. Both Facebook and Myspace have powerful platforms for social interaction though Facebook is very easy to use and has much less clutter than Myspace which in my opinion is why it has become the leader in online social networking.