Is FarmVille the New Spam?

FarmVille: The modern equivalent of Nigerian email spam.

Think about all the information on Facebook vying for your attention.

There are 500 million people on the network.  The average user has 130 friends and each friend creates an average of 70 pieces of content each month.  That means you’re sorting through an average of 9,100 pieces of new content on Facebook each month.

And as we all know – attention is at a premium these days.  Facebook isn’t the only platform competing for our attention online.  There’s email (both personal and professional), Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS feeders, Web searches, blogs and work applications.

So do we really have time to be sorting through the constant status updates from Facebook games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars?

Are people who synchronize these games to their status updates the equivalent of Nigerian email scammers?  Are these so-called “friends” the new breed of internet spammers?

Why are they clogging up our news feeds seeking information about growing organic blueberries or announcing that they found a spotted pony?

Are we soon going to be “unfriending” these people in order to get away from their game posts?

And are the status updates from location-based social networks like Foursquare far behind in the annoyance factor?  Do we care about following friends as they drive to the dry cleaner and then to the grocery store?

What do you think?  Do you avoid FarmVille addicts?  Have you gotten one too many Mafia Wars invitations?  Are you filtering these friends out of your Facebook news feed?

And, of course, the larger question.  What factors does it take to tip a status update over into being spam?

In the end, I suppose all of us can join the Facebook Group “If Anybody Sends Me Anymore FarmVille Requests I Am Going to Burn Your Crops and Kill Your Animals” (now 82,000 strong!).


Facebook Statistics (from Facebook)


Mafia Wars

If Anybody Sends Me Anymore FarmVille Requests I Am Going to Burn Your Crops and Kill Your Animals

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14 Responses to “Is FarmVille the New Spam?”

  1. I only send game notices/updates to people who also play, and I filter my status updates so only the gamers on my friends list can see game-related messages.

    I also hide any games on my news feed that I don’t play so I’m not inundated with game spam.

    It’s not hard to be considerate if you make use of Facebook’s list features. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how!

  2. Hi Caroline:
    It’s true that Facebook’s ever-increasingly complicated lists of privacy options have made it difficult for people to figure out how to filter messages. Cheers to you for being so considerate of your friends.

  3. It can be a pain filtering messages and status updates as Caroline suggests above – though good for you for doing it.
    I’m an example of the trend to (so far only threaten to) de-friend people on Facebook if their game or gift updates become oppressively incessant.

  4. Hi Blackwatertown:
    I wonder how many people out there are like you? I guess we’ll find out as Facebook games become more popular.

  5. I know I played Mafia Wars for awhile and just got burned out on playing those types of games on Facebook. Now for the last several months the rage has been FarmVille. I think half of my friend list plays this game and it seems like maybe half of the updates are about that game. I’m on the verge of trying to filter those updates, but to be honest I try and stay off of Facebook as much as possible anyway.

  6. absurdoldbird July 31, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    They’re a bloody pain, which is why I filter my FB page so that I don’t have to look at them.

  7. “Is FarmVille the new spam?” In a word: yes.

  8. Reason 475 I got off of Facebook entirely. I was filtering pretty much everything, so what was the point? I think it’d be interesting to make a fake identity with as much insane stuff as I can think of just to see what advertisements they link me to . . .

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  14. Thanks for finally talking about >Is FarmVille the New Spam?

    | HighTalk <Liked it!

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