In an interesting post by Forbes the other day, the business giant suggested that omnipotent Facebook and Google might not be ‘around’ in the next 5-8 years. Sounds scary, right? But then I carried on reading – and they made some edgy points. Today, I’m going to pick through their reasoning and make a statement of my own. Read on!
A Modern Disappearing Act
According to Forbes – the internet has gone through 3 generations. Each generation seems to replace the next, at least enough to diminish the original technology a fair bit. They use Myspace as an example. While Myspace was one of the first social media sites, it was eventually outclassed by more innovative sites, and was completely overshadowed by them.
The 3 generations have been: The Web 1.0 companies like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay, who all rose to fame between 1994 and 2001. The second generation was web 2.0 – companies like Facebook and LinkedIn that came to power between 2002-2009. Now, with the latest generation upon us ‘the mobile era’ – we’re seeing sites like Instagram climb to the top.
That’s 3 generations – with vast differences between them. As the Forbes article states – each generation before the last, can’t seem to move forward, or ‘wrap its head’ around the next evolutionary stage on the internet. For example – Google, try as they might – hasn’t been able to succeed with social media. We’ve seen this in the repeated failures ultimately culminating in the Google+ debacle.
The Evolving Times
Now that everything’s ‘gone mobile’ experts are predicting that Facebook and other social sites like LinkedIn are going to experience a steady decline. ‘The web is dead’ they say. Forbes says in a few years’ time – Facebook and Google might be gone completely. This is a controversial statement – but I’m afraid it’s also completely unfounded.
What Will Actually Happen
Google isn’t going anywhere. Neither is Facebook. What will happen, is that these sites will adapt to the new mobile generation, by buying into it. They will expand by evolving into mobile driven platforms. I honestly don’t think mobile will ever replace the desktop internet. The screens are too small, and that diminishes the fun you can have while online.
While tablets and iPads will drive the ‘mobile field’ the online sites attracting the most attention will stay the same. Facebook will morph into something better. Google will probably continue to lead the way in search. To suggest that mobile sites like ‘Instagram’ will replace the popularity of the originals is short-sighted.
Perhaps in 20 years these companies will be something very different. Google might own the market on augmented reality, real-world social glasses for example, that communicate with you as you walk. It sounds futuristic, but they’ve already announced the patent and prototype. Far from disappearing, I think Google and Facebook will continue to be 2 giant leaders in our fledgling social society.
I agree with Forbes that investing in the mobile field is the right thing to do – but I certainly don’t see the social giants shrinking away from change anytime soon. This we’ve seen in Facebook’s continued evolution, and Google’s compulsive attempts at change.
What do you think? Will Facebook and Google disappear in a few years’ time because of mobile technology?