Facebook is continuing to pour out applications. This week, the popular social networking site is off to a fast start.
In an article on CNN, Facebook has released the "Facebook Breakup Notifier" app, which lets users pick certain friends whose relationship status they want to monitor. When one of these people's relationship status changes, the user is then notified of the change via email. It's perfect for those who have their eye on someone who is currently taken. As the app promises, "You like someone. They're in a relationship. Be the first to know when they're out of it."
Here's a picture of what the new app looks like, and its also at this site:
But does this app, which was created by Dan Loewenherz, cross the border of becoming "stalkerish?" At first look, the concept of this app seems to indeed carry a stalkerish vibe, as people's love lives could be being followed by others without their knowing.
In a column called "Signs you could be a Facebook stalker," William Marshall clarifies some of the activities on Facebook that would classify a user as a stalker. While Facebook stalking is a presently an undefined term, there are activities that can clearly constitute stalking. Marshall goes on to say that "if you are infatuated with someone and you are paying close attention to their activities to further your chances of a relationship with them, you are stalking." In this sense, Marshall sees Facebook stalking as "an unknown and unwanted amount of attention by another user." With the points that this article makes, it's easy to see that constantly monitoring the relationship statuses of other users is clearly considered stalking.
But while Facebook users may find it creepy, it will undoubtedly become a highly popular app among users. It has the potential to be the next big thing on this social networking platform. The thing is, no matter how stalkerish a Facebook app or other social media platforms may seem, we always aggregate to them and turn them into the most popular apps and platforms on the web. Instead of turning our backs towards these stalkerish apps, we soak them all in.
I believe that this Breakup Notifier app will follow the same path that other stalkerish apps have gone down. While there may be initial concerns about its stalkerish vibe and privacy concerns, this app will become a huge hit on Facebook and users will flock to it. This shows the power of social media, and at the same time it shows the potential negatives of social media.
For your viewing pleasure, I've included an advertisement for Virgin Mobile which shows how social media can be used to stalk other people's lives. It may be a funny commercial, but in reality, things like this are actually happening.
Well, now it's time to hear your opinion. What is your take on this new Breakup Notifier app? Do you feel it crosses the line of "stalking?" Do you think it will become a popular app among users?
I for one will now be more aware of who I'm becoming friends with on Facebook because who knows, maybe they only want to be friends to follow my relationship status. Let's hear your take on the issue.