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As is the case when anything gets to be successful, the social networking market is saturated to the point that it’s almost nauseating to come across new social networking websites. Sites like Arsebook make fun of the overwhelming saturation of the market, but this doesn’t stop new startups from thinking that they can come in and take over.

From its outset, Facebook did the social networking thing better than anyone else. Its strengths have been touted over and over again, so I won’t go over them again here; however, the thing that amazes me is that other companies think they can lure some of Facebook’s 30 million dedicated users away from the service.

Google has Orkut, and Yahoo! has Y! 360. You’d think that the web’s leading search engines could either come up with some serious competition to Facebook, but it appears that they cannot.

As most of my friends are aware, I have accounts at most of the popular social networking services and consider myself somewhat versed in their nuances. I do not understand why Myspace has not collapsed yet due to its awful interface, horrible coding, frequent error messages and overwhelming spam, and I believe that if they young U.S. market discover Bebo in the way that their Kiwi, Aussie and British peers have, Myspace will stop luring 13-18
year olds to their service.

Hi5 is another social networking site that tries to keep up with Facebook and Bebo but fails. Its interface and features are uninspired and unoriginal, and it takes part in the horrible practice of letting users see who recently visited their profiles. This immediately turns users off the idea of surfing through others’ profiles in search of their friends, as no one wants to come across as a stalker who’s been visiting others’ online properties. Services such as MyBlogLog let users “hide” from a site they visit; Hi5 has no such feature. StumbleUpon also lets you choose whether or not your profile visits are public; the default setting is that you surf anonymously.

Trends that become hugely popular always come with people and companies who think that they can do a good thing better. They usually cannot. If you’re thinking about starting a social networking service, please reconsider. It’s unlikely that you’ll come up with something truly innovative (but if you have, go right ahead!). I’m currently quite enamored with Facebook, so have a look at Navtej Kohli Facebook Profile!