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Facebook has been with us for an incredible 10 years, though it started life as Thefacebook and wasn’t opened up to everyone (over the age of 13) until 2006. Now, it’s a public company with a userbase numbering well over 1 billion people located around the world. But success in the past and present does not guarantee success in the future. Facebook’s longevity therefore forms the basis for this week’s We Ask You discussion.

10 More Years?

We want to know, How Long Will Facebook Survive? You’re invited to give your opinion on the matter, telling us, and the thousands of other people reading, what you think about Facebook’s future. Tell us the number of years you think Facebook will survive, by all means, but please also enlighten us with your reasoning.

Facebook recently celebrated its 10th birthday Nadella Named, Facebook Filmed, Foursquare Fueled, Korea Kinected [Tech News Digest] Nadella Named, Facebook Filmed, Foursquare Fueled, Korea Kinected [Tech News Digest] Satya Nadella named CEO of Microsoft, Facebook turns 10, Twitter eyes e-commerce, Foursquare data to Windows, Google Now on Chrome Beta, and Kinect is guarding the border between North Korea and South Korea. Read More , with Feb. 4, 2014 making it a full decade since Mark Zuckerberg and a handful of fellow Harvard students founded the company. But the celebration comes at a time when there are rumblings that our love affair with Facebook is over, and engagement (especially amongst teenagers) is rumored to be dropping.

You may think Facebook is too big to fail, but let us not forget MySpace, which appeared to have everything going for it and yet still managed to implode. Its fall from grace was attributed, at least in part, to the very presence of Facebook, which offered a viable alternative to disgruntled friends of Tom. Facebook already has plenty of competition for its crown Is Facebook Going The Same Way As MySpace? Is Facebook Going The Same Way As MySpace? It happened with the massive community of AOL Online during the dialup days, it happened with Yahoo Search during the late 1990's. And history is more likely than not to repeat itself with Facebook. Why? Read More , and a deadly rival could arrive at any time.

With all this in mind, we ask you to consider whether Facebook will survive another 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? Will its popularity wane a lot sooner than that? Will Facebook need to evolve in order to remain at the top of the social networking hierarchy Social Media: Did It Really Start With Facebook? [Geek History Lesson] Social Media: Did It Really Start With Facebook? [Geek History Lesson] Today, Facebook dominates social media. It's easy to forget that social media was once considered an open field, ready for any to stake their claim. What were those early social networks? What killed them? Read More or can it carry on operating much as it has been up until now? Of the rivals already in existence, which has the potential to steal users away from Zuckerberg and co.?

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Have Your Say

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will win Comment Of The Week, receiving a geeky T-shirt for their effort. We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. pratik
    January 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    its more than just a social website now.
    its like you are noting most of your important phases of life in a diary .
    And i dont think anybody would through such a precious diary into a dustin atleast untill i die.
    i think atleast 20more healthy years are waiting for facebook.

  2. Sherrie
    February 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    For about twenty years, as a place for "family letters", since the oldest members of the family (75-80+) may just be getting on now, and the older Boomer contingent is comfortable with it, the younger gen (30 and less) will have to use it to post stuff that they want their older relations to know. After all, the Post Office still exists. As a tool for advertising, maybe for ten years, but not past that.

  3. Minus
    February 19, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Google plus is the biggest failure on earth.

  4. Ken E.
    February 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    The concept of "online social networking" is cemented, but growing concern for improved online privacy and security will be the major factor. If Facebook is willing to drastically improve in these areas, I see them staying profitable for another 20 years. If not, Facebook will become an engine that others use to promote their services.

  5. Saikat B
    February 18, 2014 at 1:59 am

    Facebook (like any other) will have to evolve. It is no longer the preferred social network for teenagers. No longer instantaneous enough. It could end up just being an occasional archive for our thoughts. But then, as demographics change rapidly, so will the way we communicate. But I think the heady days of its dominance could gradually fade. Remove FB likes from webpages and FB logins and it will fade even faster.

  6. Chakravarthi
    February 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Facebook itself is entertaining. And entertainment as seen in centuries kept on changing. From Arts, Classical Music, Plays, Novels, Theaters, Cinema etc. It changes its shape. FB entered very deeply in to private lifes of people and gave them a stage (Wall) where their thoughts and ideas can be heard. It made a common man feels He is also important. But, over that. It is getting bored. Too many groups started slowing disturbing the FB users.

    Over that FB can be a least source of inspiration to work on and there is no productivity through FB in most cases unlike Google. The scope of jumping in to other Business is very less and the probability of Loyality is also less when compared to Microsoft or Google. (If there is a excel sheet software made by M.Soft or Google; I will prefer them rather FB Excel Sheet.)

    FB could live till the next Personal web entertainer will hit www. Till then may be people will get bored with this in the next 15 yrs. But, It all once again depends on the changes and decisions they make.

  7. Tom W
    February 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    It is almost impossible to say what will kill off Facebook. It's guaranteed not to be something that the media brands as a Facebook killer. Instead, it will be a small network (lets call it Network X) that slowly gains traction and passes the tipping point (where more of your friends are using Network X than are using Facebook) almost before the media notices it. There are several features that Network X needs to achieve this:

    Reliability. Facebook is (almost) never offline. If Network X doesn't match that then it risks annoying it's always-online userbase.

    Scalability. This ties into the above point, but Network X has to work well from the time that it gets its first user until the time that it has 1Bn users online at the same time. If it doesn't scale well, it will fall flat.

    Features. When it was released, Facebook had features that no-one else had, and new ones added all the time. Development has slowed since then, probably due to the fact that the majority of the userbase gets in a huff whenever something changes. Network X needs a mixture of features that people know they want, and features that people don't know they want (yet).

    Privacy. This is one of the major complaints that people have with Facebook. Any network which fails to implement a better way of controlling privacy isn't really trying.

    A hook. People aren't going to join a social network until everyone else does. Network X needs a reason for people to join that isn't social networking, but at the same time offer key social network features. Once a lot of people are using Network X because of the hook, they'll start using the social side of it as a by-product. As more time passes, people will use Facebook less without even realising it.

    Luck. This is the most important part. Any software developer will tell you that having the right product, at the right time, for the right price, isn't a guarantee that it will become popular. Network X can fill all of the above criteria and more, but won't make a dent in the marker if it doesn't have a little luck.

    I don't know when this will happen. Even if the perfect site launches tomorrow it could take 3 years to reach critical mass, or it could take a couple of months. I don't think any existing site can replace Facebook and, even if they make massive updates, they will have to fight harder to change user perception than a new site would.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      A really well-written and thoughtful comment, as usual :)

      Actually I can't remember the last time I heard something described as a "Facebook killer" which is in itself pretty telling.

      I think you've hit on something very important: Facebook cannot change things for fear of annoying the existing 1.2 billion-strong userbase, but in order to attract the next generation of Internet users it needs to evolve. That could be a catch-22 that will lead to its eventual demise.

    • Tom W
      February 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      I think the last site I heard described as a Facebook killer was Google+. That's because Google+ went for a big launch, with lots of press. Other potential candidates since then have all been small enough that they won't be considered for the title for a while.

      Facebook can change, and a lot of the behind-the-scenes changes and A-B testing they do would be considered rapid when compared to smaller services. It's when you look at the rate of change of features, and compare it to the changes that were seen in Facebook's early years, that you realise that things are somewhat glacial at the moment. This is even more important considering that Facebook likes to encourage the hacker culture among employees. It would seem that they can scale their infrastructure indefinitely, but their mentality didn't survive the transition.

      Of course, scaling infrastructure is the most important thing here. If a newcomer starts to suffer under load before it hits critical mass then it'll be dead in the water.

  8. Von Adam M
    February 14, 2014 at 1:49 am

    About 7 to 12 years as far as I am concern with the privacy issues. One thing they should invest on is the total dependency on the power of HTML5, I am pertaining to the video content. I f they are going to drop the use of flash, then it would be a lot nicer since we don't no longer install that plugin since it is the current video player use by the company. Another thing is that on the case of using hash tags, if they want to maximize the use of that, then they should have a "trending topics" section. Plus they should also increase the capabilities of photo uploading like shrinking of the photos according to the aspect ratio required. Lastly, the graph search, I have been waiting for that since 2012 as far as I can remember.

  9. Roy Van den Brande
    February 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Facebook is completely missing out on the mobile market. And it looks outdated too. In a world where you need to find a niche, Facebook wants to be a one size fits all. (Didn't Myspace first had music as a niche when it peaked?)

    And that's even supposing the social thing will stay. We are all outraged about the things they reveal about the NSA, and it won't take long before we have a better internet hygiene, only putting online what we have to, afraid that it all may be used (for the wrong reasons).

    For a website it's been around for a long while now, and I suppose it will be around a little while longer. But we see the popularity fall drastically in younger generations. Facebook has a rapidly graying population. When they start losing interest, Facebook is done if they don't reinvent themselves. And I don't think Facebook will do that. Just like Apple has no vision left and will eventually die out.

    An estimate? I think Q3 of 2015 the population will stagnate. And then depending on the media coverage, possible fiasco's in missuse of information and stuff, people will leave Facebook by Q1 2017. But again, that is believing they don't do something really fast. They want to bring some kind of RSS feed, that's fine, but that been done a thousand times and a thousand times better too.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you for offering such a specific prediction. I like it :)

      I suspect the younger generations have already moved on to Twitter, and Whatsapp, Snapchat etc.

  10. Maarten D
    February 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Maybe not everyone will agree to me, but Facebook is the best social media site i've had. I think it's better because of the more options you can choose from.
    Like the apps you can build, connect other social media sites, upload various photo albums, and so on and so on. It's the perfect way to see what eveyone does, and also the best way to stalk people, but who cares? :-)
    Facebook for me isn't just a social media website.
    It helps for school too! With our class, we have a facebook group where we help out each other with exercises from Maths to History. We can discuss things via internet but not everyone has to know, so it's very handy because everyone of our class has facebook.
    But yeah, every time I hear that my privacy is more in danger, I think I should quit Facebook. But actually, i shouldn't do it because my info is already there, and deleting is hard on the internet.
    And actually, nothing that I posted on facebook is embarrassing or insulting, so what's the problem then?
    I'd like to know if you guys are worried about your privacy!

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      I must admit I do like Facebook, though I use Twitter more these days.

      You may not think anything you're putting on facebook now is embarrassing, but you might change your mind if/when you turn up for a job interview and the company has checked out your Facebook profile.

  11. Marc Connor
    February 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I'm no fan of Facebook by any means, but I won't sing or "predict" it's demise any time soon.

    Facebook is THEE best social media platform for connecting people you know, and I mean long lost friends, family members, acquaintances and more.

    If they stick to that, and focus on that, they'll do well.

    I don't like it because Mark Zuckerberg has no respect for privacy, and his company, Facebook, of course, has no respect for privacy.

    I don't know if they'll "win" the social media war, I actually doubt it, due to their privacy issues, but they certainly won't be going anywhere. At least any time soon.

    My two cents.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      The problem, of course, is that social networks rely on people giving up a certain amount of privacy, so all the changes down the years have been done to try and encourage people to share more and more information about themselves.

    • Marc Connor
      February 18, 2014 at 2:18 am

      @Dave P,

      Yeah, they all require some loss of privacy, by default, same as with simply using your computer to access to the internet...same thing really.

      However, Mark Zuckerberg and the folks of Facebook, have THEE WORSE privacy policies out there, at least as far as I know. Mark Zuckerberg has literally said that he doesn't care for online privacy.

      I mean...it doesn't get any worse or blatant than that.

  12. Rob H
    February 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    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.

    • Maarten D
      February 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      No, google + isn't that popular, and it won't be.

    • Rob H
      February 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      @Maarten D I didn't say G+ is/would be as popular as FB but it has a useful niche. Users tend to be the better educated/professionals, it's not seen as "fun" or as fashionable amongst the young compared with FB.
      G+ should be viewed as part of the overall Google ecosystem. Google's complete environment brings you so much - integration of Picasa, youtube, email, maps, calendar, drive, sites, blogs, hangouts. G+ is just part of that. G+ isn't trying to be like FB, if anything I think the ultimate aim is for it to act as the glue, bringing other aspects of your Google experience together and enabling selective sharing. And don't forget the close links between Google and Android providing better tablet/phone integration. Rather than compare G+ or the whole google ecosystem with FB it may be more meaningful to compare Google and Apple ecosystems.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Facebook is going to have a tough time balancing the needs of its users and the demands of its shareholders. They cannot risk scaring away users, which are the only reason they're in business, by filling the site full of intrusive ads.

  13. Aibek E
    February 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I think Facebook has some rough years ahead.

    Unlike companies like Google or Apple which offer a lot of globally used products or services Facebook's core offering is its social platform. It aims to help people like myself to stay connected with friends. The thing is WhatsApp seems to be a better fitted solution for this problem at this point. Another issue is that most people have too many friends now which results in a lot of noise/shares/likes which people are getting tired of. I think many users will be moving to some other services in the coming years.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Is there any way for Facebook to fix this or is there too much to change now? There's an argument that if Facebook changes too much it loses its raison d'etre and therefore might as well not exist at all.

  14. Christian Nazha
    February 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Tomorrow Facebook will invent a better "All new FB" to keep up with people's demand (they have the money.. the power to stay). People got used to such service and trusted Facebook (I don't), it would be very hard for people to shift to another alternative. All it has to do... is to keep the hype by inventing new ideas or copy others in a better way.
    So around 20+ Years

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      20+ years? Wow, that's a long time. The world could be such a different place in 20 years time. For proof think back to 1994!

  15. maleman
    February 13, 2014 at 10:55 am

    i hate facebook if your want public stupidity facebook it is, i deleted my fb last year, fb ruined msn and skype it destroyed cam gangis around the world and any chance for geeks to get some cam action, i hate zuckerd*ck and stupid fb and its privacy bullcrap

    • Maarten D
      February 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Wow, that isn't quiet friendly.
      But are you sure that your FB info is deleted? What actually happens to the info, do you think?

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      How did Facebook ruin MSN and Skype? That was Microsoft, surely.

  16. ep
    February 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I personally don't use Facebook. I hate the damn thing. I think it will survive for businesses but for regular people, they will find/revert to other means of sharing. Possibly picking up a phone to say hello??? To much personal info floating around in the clouds. Facebook is an invite of personal invasion being that you have to use a real name. I like going on the web with an alias name. Bye bye facebook please.

  17. Mark
    February 13, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Facebook will definitely last as long as they copy every single thing other social networking sites do, as they already are.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Ooh, harsh! I'd argue Twitter and Google+ are doing the same; one of the three has a good idea and the other two steal it.

  18. David B
    February 13, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Facebook has done well in this past ten years. In fact, I believe that it has taken advantage of its era: Smartphones, cloud computing, picture sharing, tagging, fanpages for anyone who lacks knowledge of web design (what's the choice? wix? google sites?).
    It also dealt well with games (at the beggining at least) and apps. Still, I think that its tendence towards billing post to get viewers is becoming a mayor disadvantage. Graph search is great, isn't it? But there is no graph search for us in Latin America. Facebook videos? lacks everything. To acquire instantgram was brilliant.
    Sincerely I believe that, as devices become more social, they give the chance to many others social networks. If you have a social phone (g+, pinterest, youtube, twitter, tumblr) the only thing you want is your friends to hear from you; and again, facebook is charging more and more on that.
    "Who's next?"
    We can't tell now. Google+ has everything and still it does not even pose a mayor threat, for now.
    Probably something new will arrive, faster, with custom appearence, collectively coded, like a blender of the others. Users' bad habits are persistant, some people still browse with ie6. Only the crowd will tell.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Smartphones are changing everything, and while Facebook is doing well from them right now it may so that isn't the case in the longterm.

  19. balamurugan r
    February 13, 2014 at 5:24 am

    For this case, I would like to ask a question like, How long is there for GOOGLE?
    Every one in this industry needs to evolve in order to survive. Can't really say when, even for their success and fall.

    • Aibek E
      February 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Google has lot sof unique products that are being used globally to GET THINGS DONE. Things are different with Facebook because it's not a productivity tool but rather considered time waster in many case.

    • Vicky B
      February 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Same balamurugan here.. I completely agree with your point. But what if Facebook also diving into product business as their same interest in social networking. Moreover I think they have that potential to shine through as much as Google did. Comparatively the growth rate of Google and Facebook is same, and think it will evolve to devices, gears and much more. The kind of personal information of people they hold, they could be human Wikipedia.

    • A G B
      February 14, 2014 at 9:26 am

      ( From Another Thread )

      'Evil' Advocate Here.

      15 ( Fifteen ) Days Ago, I Created A Post In PCWORLD, With An Example Of A Fake Randomly Generated Password, With 24 ( Twenty Four ) Characters ( Letters And Numbers Only ).

      No More Than 40 ( Forty ) Minutes Later, GOOGLE Had That Password Indexed For The Whole World To See, With Their Search Engine.

      Today I Checked, And Other 7 ( Seven ) Search Engines, Including BING And YAHOO, Know Nothing About It - PCWORLD Is Not Exactly An Obscure Site From NIGERIA.

      Sorry For The Ever Repeated Broken Record, But BING Is A Joke.

      In Fact, I Believe All The World Search Engines Put Together, Are No Match For The G Guys.

      So, If You Are Waiting For GOOGLE To Die, You Better Find A Confy Couch.

      Cheers.

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      I have to agree with Aibek (and not only because he pays my wages). Google is already pretty diverse and getting more diverse by the day. The company is making a big move into hardware: buying Nest, developing Google Glass and self-driving cars, throwing money at robotics firms. They're evolving.

  20. Who Cares
    February 13, 2014 at 4:09 am

    5 more years.

  21. anonny
    February 13, 2014 at 3:42 am

    It will never go away, unfortunately. With hundreds of millions of users, there will be plenty of idiots who think FB is just wonderful and will use it until they die, which will be at least fifty years from now on average. Like Reader's Digest. Does anyone still read that garbage? Yep.

    P.S. I doubt I will win the "Comment of the Week", but if I do, I decline the award. I want nothing whatsoever to do with Facebook. (Probably a mistake to even comment in the first place, of course...)

    • Dave P
      February 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      You haven't explained why you have such a problem with Facebook though?

  22. Shawn
    February 13, 2014 at 1:44 am

    3 Years for the youth
    5 Years of primacy
    10 years for large market share.
    I think there won't be any new "Facebook'; just a scattering of various "do one thing well" plug-ins and and Conglomerates to host them.

    Maybe

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