Dec 19 2015
I have used Facebook for more than 8 years now, constantly and regularly. I have used it for laid-back surfing, as a gaming platform, a political forum and for business. I have also spent a lot of money on it to promote the cafe page and particularly its events. Facebook charged me more and more at the same time that was charging my competitors more and more to reach out to the same audience. It made it really obvious lately to the extent that people who were not coming from Tech and had no familiarity with such tricks also felt something is very shady and got pissed off. This is when you wish the same opportunity that was taken advantage of a decade ago in sillicon valley, was siezed by other people so may the dominant social network of our time have been in the hands of a humbler and less greedy company.
Facebook is investing a lot in other things and so it will be very dissapointing if the future of innovation in this company is not super bright. Still, given the current state of the social network service it does not seem that they can last this way for so long. Facebook as a company may last as long as Coca Cola. And the concept of digital social networking will also continue with the future human just like alphabet stayed with us. So say both will survive but not necessarily in link with each other. Why social networking does not have to stay locked in the hands of the Facebook company?
For many reasons.
Facebook as we know it (the service) although has grown, improved algorithmically and then monetized agressively, hasn’t provided a different user experience from day one. Now it has hit the limit and is losing the new generations, alarming that it will lose even more of the future generations. All Facebook has is the momentom, piles of cash, huge user-base and invaluable data. This is enough to stay big for a long time, but data can get old like food and a user-base can die out. And most importantly big data insights will be more widespread and be accessible to many more companies, bug and small and that will not be a competitive advantage in a long run.
What if a small service grows so fast and feels the gap, like what Snapchat only much better.
What Facebook (the service) is doing can be done much better. But they don’t innovate unless it’s about making short-term cash. Very important, life changing and profitable predictions must be possible now with their valuable data and they are only showing ordinary improvements. Nothing really amazing comes out of that company, except for more advanced methods to trick and rob the addicted page-owners so they pay more cash and get less, to make them want to pay even more. This will not sustain and they will quit once a better channel appears.
I doubt if the company that owns the next generation of social networks is Facebook. The people in that future company right now lack huge capital, their active userbase, and their valuable data. But there are many other shortcuts as well as enough smart people out there to bridge that gap to grow and eat Facebook. Such process doesn’t have to show its symptoms to the naked eye before it’s too late. I can’t wait to see how and when it is going to happen but it will soon.
Of course any innovation that takes place in social networking or related technologies if not already in Facebook, is gonna be aquired immediately by them. The current way we are using Facebook will not last long, either they keep the continuum intact and manage to ride the next wave of social need and technological advancement or will eventually leave it to the next creative player.
Facebook is huge, rich and powerful. Too big to fail? The exact opposite. Big things can also change rapidly. Such as the inevitable downfall of the corporate Empire. It is in the proceess already and can’t be stopped, although how will it fall through what candidate and which pathway is not clear.