Will grown-ups use Facebook?

May 25, 2007, 11:22 PM UTC
Fortune

I didn’t attend Zuckfest in San Francisco Thursday. (I was busy, not uniterested.) But I did read David Kirkpatrick’s comprehensive report on what Facebook is up to with its new platform concept, as well as a whole bunch of other descriptions of the attempt by CEO Mark Zuckerberg – whom I’ll always remember for his one-of-a-kind business card – to create Macworld-like drama the way Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs does. (Particularly worth reading is a contrarian take by paidContent.org that throws a fair amount of cold water on Facebook’s dramatic announcement.)

What interests me here is whether anyone over about 25 will really use Facebook, including folks who use it in college and then go out into the real world. Last fall, when Facebook started expanding to allow corporate e-mails to be used to establish accounts (around the same time the company reportedly turned down a billion-dollar offer to be bought by Yahoo (YHOO)), I asked Facebook to start one for Fortune‘s editorial employees. I then invited everyone on staff to be my “friends.” Three accepted, and I’m not naming names, nor did I take the rejection personally. It was more that no one seemed to care. Since then I’ve been steadily getting invitations from all over the place for people to be my “friends,” many from people I’ve never met or met only once. My hunch is that adults are finding out about Facebook and then inviting everybody they can think of. But will they actually visit the site and see who is “poking” them? I seriously doubt it. I don’t use LinkedIn much either, but I know that lots of people do, and I understand why: It’s got content that helps them do their job. And even then, it’s not like you’re going to spend a ton of time on LinkedIn, the main premise behind Facebook and News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace. Professionals get in and get out. They’re too busy to do otherwise.

(Will adults use Facebook? Have your say in this poll.)