Facebook haters should look away now. Mark Zuckerberg and co. aren’t disappearing anytime soon, at least according to the MakeUseOf readership. Having already prospered for 10 years (celebrating the occasion with those annoying ‘Look Back’ videos), Facebook looks set to be with us for some time yet.
No End In Sight
We asked you, How Long Will Facebook Survive? We had a fair number of responses, with people generally offering a prediction and arguing why they believe what they believe in terms of Facebook’s possible longevity. The majority of commenters cannot see Facebook disappearing anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean their feelings towards THE social network are particularly positive.
In fact, hatred for Facebook is liberally peppered throughout the comments on the previous post. Its privacy policies, the way it (allegedly) copies ideas from other social networks, the amount of noise on the site, and the poor mobile apps; these are all issues people have with Facebook, and yet they (mostly) still carry on using it.
Which is why most of the commenters cannot see it disappearing for many more years to come. It may be far from perfect, and struggling to appeal to the younger generation of tech-savvy teenagers, but with a userbase of at least 1.2 billion people its future is assured for several more years at the very least.
Predictions for the timing of its demise ranged from five years to 20 years, with most assuming Facebook will still be around in some form or another in 2024. That seems like an eternity away to this middle-aged blogger.
Part of the problem is imagining what will replace Facebook. The way in which Google+ has failed to take the world by storm suggests that the surge in popularity of social networks has come to an end. Meaning we’re probably stuck with what we have now, Facebook included.
Comment Of The Week
We received a lot of great comments, including those from Tom W, Maarten D, and Roy Van den Brande. Comment Of The Week goes to Rob H, who won with this comment:
FB belongs to a specific generation, probably centered around mid-20?s, they’ll probably stick with it longest. The young will look for something new, the older for something better – according to need, like Google+ (less intrusive, better quality content, better end-user control) and LinkedIn, more business oriented but paid version way too expensive (though I’m beginning to find it’s sending me too much garbage email).
FB is useful for spying on friends, family and (actual and potential) employees who, quite unabashed, sometimes post the most embarrasing crap.
As a public company with shareholders looking for a return on their investment, FB now need to monetise it and that will inevitably devalue and drive people away. They may be able to make relatively low-key un-intrusive ads work as Google are able to but I think they’ll be a lot more annoying. I guess they could offer some kind of paid-for FB-Pro – didn’t work out well for LogMeIn though!
FB seem to have a fairly unfortunate history of changes in policy upsetting users, in 10 years it will be another MySpace, not dead but no longer of much significance.
We chose this comment because it makes a strong prediction – suggesting that Facebook will no longer be relevant in 10 years time – as well as examining why that may be the case. It also hits the nail on the head in raising two riddles Facebook is going to have to solve if it wants to stick around for the longterm: balancing the opposing needs of its users and its shareholders, and trying to appeal to the younger generation.
We Ask You is a weekly column in which you have your say about a particular subject. We ask you a question each week, with the results compiled and compressed into a follow-up article the following week. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.
Image Credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr