Facebook is the dominant social media service today. It currently has about 750 million users worldwide. It took the top spot from MySpace many years ago. While MySpace is still a social media player with 100 million users, it no longer has the same influence on the industry.
Is Facebook too big to be replaced? History has shown that no tech company is too big to be replaced. There are many dark clouds on Facebook’s horizon. Can Facebook weather the storm or will a new social media player rise up to replace them like they did to MySpace.
There were many advantages for Facebook back when they were trying to compete with MySpace. Social media was new and the users were fickle and tech savvy. This allowed Facebook to attract attention with compelling features. Once some started to switch, it drew others in as well. This is not the case today. Most of the Facebook user base are now late adopters. These users are now used to Facebook and it will be hard to get them to change. Social Media is all about the people and that is a big advantage for Facebook.
Like all new Internet companies, there are problems that come up after growth and it is no different with Facebook. While they rode the wave of the social media revolution, they are also struggling to keep up with the next revolution. That next revolution on the Internet is mobile. More and more are getting online through their smart-phones and tablets instead of their computers. This changes the way users view and use the Internet. It is effecting everything online. Facebook does have mobile applications, but they are not keeping up. They are not able to generate revenue through their mobile apps even though these apps are becoming the way users interact with Facebook.
Facebook has not proven itself as a long-term need in our society yet. Half of Americans still think Facebook is a fad. Studies can’t predict the future and most citizens don’t understand what is or is not a fade. This study does show Facebook has not made a strong enough case for it’s long-term sustainability yet. This leaves them vulnerable to competitors.
Social Media is not new and it is here to stay. It is just another way for us to communicate with those around us on the Internet. It will keep changing as technology keeps changing. Time will tell if Facebook is replaced or if they fix their problems. If they are going to be replaced, it will most likely come from another new up and coming startup following Facebook’s path.