The advances that are taking place online are sometimes not seen as a one day occurrence. Shifts like Facebook come slower than that. They are small gradual changes that are brought to us from several different directions. Facebook wasn’t the first social platform, they weren’t even second. Facebook was just the one that broke through to the attention of the masses and caught fire. But MySpace was doing the social media boogie long before Facebook. That is what struck me in the film “The Social Network”. No one brought up GeoCities, MySpace or any other social network that existed before Facebook.
Sure the Winklevoss twins felt screwed over but what did they have that was proprietary? What technology did they create that was not already created? The only reason they settled with Facebook or vice versa is because Mark Zuckerberg mislead them and built what they were trying to build. But Facebook didn’t have anything that MySpace didn’t have. The magic was that Facebook had less and made communications easier and faster than the social platforms that came before it.
So where is the web going now?
How about personal editable search engines or social media with a defined purpose? Who thought Pinterest was going to be what it has become?
Who thought Instagram would sell for a billion dollars?
Who thought that Microsoft wouldn’t eventually own the web?
Most of us thought that AOL would be around and relevant for the rest of our lives. Does anyone still pay a monthly subscription to AOL for internet access? I hope not. Has anyone used MapQuest to get lost recently? If so, fire a flare and we will send a search party.
LinkedIn is great but the idea of talking to another professional from the same profession is not exactly what I would want to do with my time if I could be creating more business. When a new technology enters the market it generally displaces something else. Ask Monster.com how they feel about LinkedIn. None too happy. Or ask investors in MySpace how they feel about Facebook…same.
So who is going to displace Google? Bing? Yah whatever. Google is large enough now to eat any competitors lunch and then devour the company whole. But there are lots of options that are lingering out there that can build and then be absorbed by Google or Facebook or even dare we say Bing?
The only thing that we need is some 18-year-old kid with an idea that is going to reshape how we look at the internet and displace some company that thinks they have it all locked up. Mark Zuckerberg, hate him or love him was the kid that changed the world for so many of us that we have to thank him for shaking things up and reminding us all that what is there today is only temporary.