I have a prediction to make: Facebook, as we know it now, will fall, soon.
By soon, I mean, real soon. I think it has a shelf life of around 6 more months, and we’ll see a serious slump in numbers. I’m not sure why I have such conviction about it, but I do. It started as a feeling. A growing irritation with all the notifications I kept receiving. All the pointless stuff people were asking me to add to my page. All the weird invites to fringe groups supporting causes I’d never heard of.
So I thought about it, and then developed a hypothesis to support my theory. Here it is, if you’re interested:
1. Facebook is a great idea
2. Great ideas are great because they open your eyes to something new.
3. Once something is not new anymore, people will start looking for the next great idea.
4. However, people will stay if the idea becomes an essential component of your life (e.g. a word processor, toaster, etc.)
5. Facebook is not an essential component of my life.
I think it’s going to be hard for Facebook to stay relevant. Many people are talking about Facebook being the next Microsoft; and about Mark Zuckerberg being the new Gates. Marc Andreessen, the guy who developed Netscape, wrote a while back that Facebook is a platform, not an application – and that was why it would take over the world. (I also wrote about it on Ideate.co.za)
Andreessen was right about the platform thing. The problem is, though, that the only applications people are developing for it are silly widgets.
These widgets are not essential components.
This needs to change, or Facebook is in trouble. Zuckerberg has to figure out how to keep us engaged. We’re getting bored real quick, and unless either he, or one of the 50,000 Facebook developers out there (most of who are frantically designing things like ‘Buy Me A Love Bite’ and ‘What Kind Of Telly Tubby Are You? – Forward to a Friend!’), creates a killer application like MS Word for Windows, we’re moving on.
In the meantime, how do I turn my Facebook account to ‘Stand By’?