It seems to me that whether or not Facebook is in our future, some form of the social experiences it enables will be. Susan Mernit has a nice post which acknowledges that it may be a fad, but goes on to explain some of its appeal. And it clearly has strong appeal!
When I am asked about it I mention the background low-cost connection it provides with folks. Here are two of her points:
* "We want to be local, not global. Small is beautiful, and a digital backfence like Facebook's status updates or twitter, has irresistible appeal."
* "Forget Starbucks, the third place is digital. Got 5 minutes? Need a break? That place you like to go is probably right on your screen."