An interesting article on the Fast Company website today – 1.78 Million Facebook Users May Die in 2011. The article highlights how many inactive profiles there are on FB due to death or duplication. This punches a hole in some of the astronomical user figures that get bandied around.
It’s easy to imagine that now that FB is here, it’ll be here for ever, but personally I think it’ll peak and decline over the next 5 – 6 years. Why? A recent quote from an analyst said it best “Facebook will last until someone builds a better mousetrap” (paraphrasing). Remember that Facebook is only a few years old, although with its saturation coverage you could easily feel it has been here forever! The next Facebook is probably out there on the web already, we just don’t know it. I also think that Facebook could easily fall victim to its own success, if everyone is on it, it continues to lose its cachet.
Having said all of that, Facebook is pretty good at what it does and anecdotally, I don’t ever think I’ve seen as many TV ads (at least here in the UK) that push their Facebook presence over their web address – although the wisdom of that decision is probably dependent upon their desired audience.
Facebook continues to make attempts to break out of its core area, but doesn’t seem to be having much success (we’ll replace email – oh really?). The continual blunders around privacy seem to be relentless and it is amazing with all of those resources they still get it wrong (a failure to identify customer needs perhaps).
I’ll be watching Facebook’s continued growth with interest and working out how, as a marketer I can continue to use the opportunities it presents. But, I’ll also be keeping an eye out for the next big thing, because “the only thing constant in life is change” and in a connected world, change is a certainty.