Home > marketing ramblings, Social media strategy, technology > Looking into the future – Facebook’s demise

Looking into the future – Facebook’s demise

While I agree with Neil that Facebook will be around in 5 years, I think it’s entirely plausible that it will be in decline.  Being the biggest operator in a (social) space isn’t a guarantee of success.  Just look at MySpace, which if the exponential decline above continues will have zero members by the end of this summer.

Despite the fact that none of the Facebook competitors (such as Diaspora or Crabgrass) are currently making much ground up, what they are doing is innovating.  Although Facebook are discontinuing FBML (great move) they seem focussed on polishing what’s already there (shown by the latest round of fan page changes), instead of  looking to make it a safer, more controllable destination for consumers and companies to live in.

The biggest indication that Facebook is looking to the here and now (i.e. cashing out) and not to the future is the investment from Goldman Sachs.  Indeed Douglas Rushkoff argues a pretty good case about the very fact that Facebook is looking to sell-out being the indicator of doom, not the fact that it may or may not be over-valued.

Facebook as a product is easy to replace – you just have to convince its members to move somewhere else (tricky if they feel they’d lose their friends by doing so).  My prediction is that Facebook will sell and then some bright spark with ideas about getting their money back will suggest having to pay… first companies for fan pages (which they will do), but then users, which will spark an exodus.

Would you pay to stay on Facebook?

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