So – here we are on the edge of the precipice.
If you’re looking over the edge, you’ll notice that some things have already gone over. Old world companies, famous banks. You might even see the remnants of the Dot Com boom (and bust) down there too.
But – and here’s the extraordinary thing – we might be about to see a global phenomenon pass by too.
I put it to you, that Facebook is about to die.
- It seems like ages since anything new has happened with Facebook. There’s no obvious new features since the palaver with the new interface. I’m sure new stuff has crept in but where’s the fanfare?
- Spend on on-line ads (banners, PPC) is declining slightly, which is a market saturated with content publishers means there’s less ad revenue to go around an increasing number of sites. This has got to hit a business 100% reliant on ad revenue hard.
- A true social network like Facebook often resents corporate communications, so a number of advertisers have stopped placing ads there.
- The ad mechanism seems really clumsy in Facebook and relies on content scraped from individual profiles and not on Facebook user behaviour (I can write any old garbage as content on Facebook, but why not observe my attendance at events or look at things “I do” within the network?
So – with this in mind, I can’t imagine how Facebook can be making enough money to survive. Flickr can monetize through it’s $12 annual fee (small but what a long tail of professional photographers you can pick up). Ning groups can monetize themselves because of their distinctive niche audiences. Google Groups are really adept at having very contextually driven ads inside them as part of the overall Google ad network (yet another channel).
I give it a year.
And while I’m at it. What’s gonna pay for Twitter?
Will Google buy it? Or someone else? Or wil it die off?