What will be the next Facebook?
Like all technology the internet is constantly changing and there is not platform more fluid than social media. So what will will be the next Facebook? Facebook which started as a college only messaging service has evolved into one of the biggest platforms in the world but as we all remember from MySpace and more recently Vine, nothing lasts forever. So what will be Facebook killer? While there is not sure thing, here are some of our best guesses.
A Open Source Platform
Facebook is a commercial platform and over the past decade we have seen it capitalize on advertising in unprecedented ways. The amount of adds are increasingly rapidly as it Facebook’s monetization of user data. There have been many backlashes from users when FaceBook takes things too far and it quite possible we are headed for another major backlash. An option often discussed in the tech community is a non-for-profit social media platform built using open source software. This community based approach would allow for a platform that puts the needs of the users before the needs of its shareholder. While this may seem idealistic it is possible the next Facebook could be a user centric open source platform.
When Facebook overtook MySpace or when Apple overtook Microsoft the driving factors for this wasn’t just quality but “coolness.” Entire digital empires can fall when they are no longer deemed hip enough. With Facebook now becoming a platform used more by grandmas than teens, it is quite possible the next social media revolution will be for the sake of coolness. Several elite sites have popped up over the last few years which only allowed invite only members to join. This creates a buzz that could be a serious contender for Facebook’s crown.
Over the last year there has been a major rise in popularity of online forums. This forums usually cater to niche markets. Imagine Facebook but only for craft brewers or a social media site designed to discuss science. It is possible that “the next Facebook” won’t be a single site, but Facebook’s user share will slowly diminish after being chipped away by 100’s of niche sites that allow users of similar interests to discuss topics.
The Big 3
Perhaps Facebook’s biggest contenders have always been the three elephants in the room We are talking about Apple, Microsoft, and Google. With these companies having a massive monopoly on all mobile and desktop devices it is not hard to imagine one of them leveraging this power to push their own social media platform. Several years ago Google tried and failed to be the next Facebook though Google Plus but it is not unlikely to see Apple or Microsoft take another chance. The amount of money in the coffers of these companies make anything possible!
So whether you are ready for a new platform or just want to see how it plays out it is likely to be an interesting time as we see start-ups and Fortune 500 companies all keeping to be the next Facebook.