Facebook five years from now: king or has-been?

Moderated by Lawrence Dignan | May 16, 2012 -- 09:58 GMT (02:58 PDT)

Summary: In 2017, will Zuckerberg and Company rule the social Web -- or be little more than another MySpace?

Emil Protalinski

Emil Protalinski

King

or

Has Been

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Best Argument: King

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

Facebook is here to stay

Emil Protalinski:  Facebook won't be the king of the Internet in five years (that'll be Reddit, or Reddit's successor) but I do strongly believe it will remain the king of the social Web. That's because Facebook isn't just a social network; it's a platform.

Facebook may have started as a simple Web service, but it has very quickly expanded into many areas of the Web through various apps, plugins, and widgets. Even if you don't use it, or your friends don't, it's hard to navigate the Web without seeing a Facebook logo.

Comparing MySpace to Facebook is like comparing Lycos to Google. Lycos and Myspace are both known by most Internet users of their respective times, but they weren't here for long. Facebook and Google are.

Facebook has multiple fingers in many pies. Facebook is entrenched. Facebook is here to stay.

Facebook's future fiasco

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: In 2008, Facebook nearly had as many users as MySpace. 58.4 million unique visitors at year's end vs.  55.2 million to be exact.

The fastest growing sites were Twitter, Tagged, and Ning. A bit more than four years later, MySpace has been sold for peanuts  and does anyone use Tagged or Ning?

And you think just because Facebook is hot now that it's going to continue to hold its fans for five years? Ha!

Facebook's fiasco of an IPO  shows a company headed for business disaster. Users won't care. But, fed up with Facebook's endless interface and privacy changes, they will start abandoning ship.

Like AOL long before it, Facebook is wildly popular now, but that won't last any longer than AOL's dial-up modem empire. Anyone can create a social network today. Google+, Pinterest, Diaspora, some social network no one's ever heard of, the question isn't: “Will Facebook fall?”  It's when.
 

Talkback

53 comments
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  • Google plus

    Google plus will rule :-)
    zdnet_sud
    Reply Vote I'm for Has Been
    • For now

      And then something else will pop up and take Google Plus by storm.

      Such is the way of the world, nothing lasts forever.
      Michael Alan Goff
      Reply Vote I'm for Has Been
    • You're joking, right?

      you have to be. :)
      William Farrel
      Reply Vote I'm for King
    • G+

      google plus is dead
      vivianvein
      Reply Vote I'm for King
  • People will ALWAYS be interested in looking into other people's lives.

    They have a huge head start over other social networks. As long as they don't do something dumb, like eliminate current features, they'll be ok.

    Remember: People will ALWAYS be interested in looking into other people's lives.
    esdrasf@...
    Reply Vote I'm for King
    • A fatal flaw in your argument.

      What happens when people stop updating their statuses?

      I for one have noticed a massive drop in people updating their statuses.

      You're right about people always being interested in other peoples lives, but you forget that people have to want to speak about their lives.

      From what I've seen, that latter trend is heading downwards fast.
      Bozzer
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • is it?

        People's desire to get attention is actually far superior to their interest in anybody else. That wont ever decline.
        nitekatt
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • True...

        Polarcat is right. We'll always have people that are so attention hungry that they'll even demand that others update their statuses...wait, is that what you're doing? ;-)
        esdrasf@...
        Reply Vote I'm for King
      • I cannot tell you how often I have spotted a long-lost friend ...

        ??? connected with them long enough to exchange a message to catch-up, and then never heard-from (or wrote-to) again.

        I am connected to a bunch of cousins who NEVER respond to my inquiries or comments, and only about half the time do people respond to my birthday wishes.

        All of my "friends" are either fraternity brothers (spanning the 1970's through the 2000's), or people I barely knew in high-school. Oh, and a smattering of people from church (whose children have signed them up. Facebook security being what it is, I even get notices from people whom I KNOW did not try to contact me.
        M Wagner
        Reply Vote I'm for Has Been
    • re/ fb

      +1 Rupert Murdoc built a global empire knowing this
      preferred user
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided