Do all social networking sites have an expiration date? It is an interesting question, and around the Summer of 2012 multiple analysts predicted the end of Facebook in approximately ten years. Myspace and Facebook are the progeny of Friendster, as you all know. I have owned accounts on all three social networks; and, of the three, only Facebook remains relevant. If the two previous social networks became irrelevant, are Facebook’s days numbered?
Facebook has done a fair amount of switching up, which frequently annoyed users post implementation. For all of that annoyance, Facebook continued to grow, while the others got stale. Utilizing content “Likes,” and fan pages better are just a couple of ways that the company stuck around and staved off disinterest. As has been mentioned in previous blogs, the company is also going to try its hand in the virtual reality arena. The company also purchased WhatsAapp, and Instagram.
Regardless of the reason, there are several avenues that Facebook could venture into to keep their brand relevant. The first of which is mobile. It makes sense for the company to branch out into mobile and create a phone. Facebook is well setup to make the transition, as the marketing and advertising on the site are a couple reasons why the company is so valuable. Advertising on the site is valued at a sum north of 400 million and growing.
Facebook could also develop a more complex search algorithm. On a given day, Facebook nets a billion searches. With all of the personal data and information available on the site, the company could challenge current incumbents. The company can also generate income by placing products and ads to the top for a fee.
Finally, the company could become a pay option, operating like PayPal. Imagine logging into Facebook, and having an area on the site where money can be deposited or withdrawn. Many companies are going this way, including Google and Apple, of course. Adding bank information is simple enough. The security issue is something to tackle, but unfortunately there is a bit of trial and error that seems to occur with such sites. Breaches will happen. Even so, it may be an interesting idea to some.
While I do not possess a crystal ball, would I be surprised if Facebook went the way of Yahoo (still profitable, but a shell of its former self)? I do not think so. That does not mean I will bet against the company: They have a proven staying power. As the social media landscape rapidly changes, it is only a matter of time before the next social networking site takes off. In this climate what do you think is more likely, Facebook remains relevant or Facebook falls off?