Today marks the 10th anniversary of Facebook and, my, how the world has changed. A decade ago, we would have looked cross-eyed at a landscape that included tweets, Instagram, six-second videos called vines and the idea of “pinning” a product.
Social media is everywhere and has become so intertwined into our daily lives that checking a social media platform is the first thing we do in the morning.
So give props to Facebook for launching the social media revolution and remaining the most popular social media outlet. (Twitter is second, followed by Linkedin.)
But my suspicion is that it’s becoming associated with old technology. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg had to beat back claims that Facebook is basically just “one app,” a now-dismissive term that makes Facebook sound like what it originally was: A simple way to connect with friends and family.
Facebook is still basically that, even though it acquired Instragram and offers many game-playing apps. But the increase in other social media formats means that the competition is greater – and increasingly faster.
The rise of Twitter especially intrigues me. It was there where most people found out Philip Seymour Hoffman died over the weekend. Its short bursts of information make it a perfect tool in our real-time, instant-gratification society. In the face of that (and Pinterest and Tumblr and Vine and Flickr), Facebook will soon be facing a relevancy problem. It’s no longer new – and, in today’s world, new reigns.
I don’t expect Facebook to go away anytime soon. It still has twice as many users as Twitter, although the usage rates of each may vary. (Studies have suggested Twitter users are more active than those who use Facebook.)
But the next 10 years (heck, the next three years) will present its own challenges for Facebook that may find it airing a TV ad similar to what Radio Shack did during the Super Bowl.
The ‘naughts will want their app back.