Just as fast as MySpace became a relic of the past, so too can Facebook. Will Facebook ever be decrowned as the leading social network? Yup. Well, I think so at least.
Already, Facebook is losing popularity to the younger generation. Other social networks catered more to specific interests are overtaking Facebook's usability and features. Use of Facebook among the younger generation is on the decline. It all comes down to innovation. Social networks targeting specific needs and wants do it better than Facebook ever did. It's no surprise, then, that many are moving to these networks. Instagram is one example (though acquired by Facebook); so maybe SnapChat fits these New-Age Social Networks better?
An important problem that's been getting some attention recently, however, has been anonymity and privacy. Plus, Facebook has got a ton of advertisement. Why isn't there a social network that has filled this hole? Well, there is. Or, well, hopefully there will be. It's called Synereo, and it hasn't been released yet, but it is in the works.
Synereo is a fully decentralized and distributed peer-to-peer social network. All data is stored locally, allowing for anonymity if you wish. This also allows Synereo to rid itself of ads. Being peer-to-peer and open-source, Synereo doesn't require a gigantic server warehouse that other Social Networks (coughFacebookcough) require. Not only does this save the user from looking at annoying pop-up ad's for a crappy farm-game, but it's better for the environment as well, saving the enormous amount of energy that a server warehouse needs to operate.
Synereo touts itself as "your network" which lies in stark opposition to Facebook's claims that every photo you upload to FB is actually the property of Facebook.
Will networks like Synereo overtake establish and mega-networks like Facebook and Twitter?
This is a difficult question to answer. Facebook is huge, much larger than MySpace ever was. It all depends on how Facebook reacts to what new networks offer. Already, Facebook is taking steps towards anonymity by offering a .Onion link, and they are steadily easing up on their ToS in order to please their users. It is obvious that Facebook has the upper hand, so Synereo really has to offer some breakthrough features in order to win users over.
Admittedly, the prospect of storing all data locally is attractive. As is the added anonymity. But if Facebook can innovate its own network in order to at least somewhat solve these problems, why would anyone move networks if they have already an established friend-circle on an already-existant one?
Synereo also poses many problems. For example the prospect of your computer getting a virus. This has the possibility of compromising all the data on your computer, and thus on Synereo as well. What if your HDD fails? Then your data is lost too. Facebook, however, has better security on its servers than an average home desktop ever would.
After all, why fix something that's not broke?
I'll leave you with this quote, just food for thought. Though Facebook is huge now, someday it will be overtaken in one way or another.
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.
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