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article imageMark Cuban: Facebook is a ‘huge time suck’

By Brian LaSorsa     Nov 19, 2012 in Business
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban published a blog post early Monday morning in which he eloquently referred to Facebook as a “huge time suck.”
The billionaire investor, who is well-known for his eccentric social media presence, spent his weekend composing a 1,700-word critique of the direction the website is taking.
“[Facebook] doesn’t seem to want to accept that its best purpose in life is as a huge time suck platform that we use to keep up with friends, interests and stuff,” he wrote. “I think that they are over thinking what their network is all about.”
Cuban said his core issue with Facebook is how the company “thinks about itself.” He doesn’t believe that executives should define engagement by the number of clicks, likes, and shares received by certain posts. That kind of engagement, he explained, works for search engines, and Facebook “is far more like TV than it is Google Search.”
“People go to Google Search with every intention of leaving it. They want to ‘engage, click and leave,’” Cuban continued. “On the exact opposite side of the spectrum, people go to [Facebook] with the expectation that it is very likely they will stay [online] for an extended period of time.”
Cuban expanded on this point, making sure to note that the term “huge time suck” isn’t necessarily an insult. Rather, it’s his view of the role the company should play in our daily lives.
“Being a time suck that people enjoy is a good thing,” he wrote. “There is a comfort in turning on the TV and having it work without any thought required. It’s easy. . . . [But Facebook] really risks screwing up something that is special in our lives as a time waster by thinking they have to make it more engaging and efficient.”
Cuban’s observation comes at an interesting time. Though he doesn’t mention it in the post, there have been rumors floating around that Facebook is seeking to form a partnership with Yahoo. The Telegraph reported Saturday that a source close to the two companies confirmed they were in talks to establish a new search engine.
Kara Swisher chimed in over at AllThingsD, however, and threw cold water on the hot rumor.
“Yahoo and Facebook are not currently in talks about forming a search alliance or building a search engine together,” she wrote, adding that her own source “scoffed about [the] thinner-than-tissue-paper post” published by the London-based newspaper.
Either way, Cuban’s message is clear.
“[Facebook] is a fascinating destination,” he concludes, “which excels in its SIMPLICITY.”
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