What is the future of Social Networks

20 May

Previous weeks I wrote about the future of 3D and I got so much excited about this future topic so I decided not to give it up. My two first blog posts were about Facebook and privacy on Facebook that is why I got an idea to connect these two topics and to write about the future of social networks. I made a couple of researches trying different search words in Google like “Social Networking 3.0”, “the future of Social networks” and so on. And what do you think? I found many interesting discussions and predictions on this topic.

Social Networking 3.0

Farhad Manjoo, an autor of many articles on the future of IT theme, believes  that Social networks, especially Facebook is not going to disappear anytime soon because it is not only technology we use. It is easy to change your search engine but you can’t switch over to a new social network, unless your friends do so as well. However, this doesn’t look possible in the next years because there are no signs now that could show slowing it’s growth – and the bigger Facebook gets, the harder it will be to switch to another platform.

Nowadays there are many discussions if there will be one global social network?
Today, many people connect their activity on different sites (Twitter, Flickr, Quora, Amazon, and Yelp) with their Facebook accounts. They do so because it is more convenient to keep one social network—maintaining separate networks on different sites is too much work. So Farhad Manjoo thinks that it could be an answer. In his opinion, if sometimes we are going to use only one social network, it makes sense to stay where all our friends are—and that’s Facebook.

On another hand, Mark Suster, whose background information you can read here, argues that people like things until they can choose. And a problem of Facebook is that they are trying to put us into one social network that could force a mixture of our private and public networks that many people would prefer not to mix. Mark Suster could be an example: ” I don’t share a lot of personal interests on FB because it’s not relevant to my business world, and by the same token I don’t want to bore my friends with business topics. That’s why a lot of business networking has moved to Twitter.”

Furthemore,  Mark Suster brings us some examples from the past to prove that it is almost not possible that Facebook will become a monopolist. As he says,  we had already situations in the past when people thought and feared that such global and powerful companies is Microsoft, Google or AOL will become monopolists. However, now, many years later we see that it didn’t happen. Mark Suster thinks that Facebook probably has the same future.

Also, according to his opinion, third-party software companies will start to offer features to websites to actually drive social features.  This could probably take a few years but such companies as Meebo are already starting to work in this category though their toolbar.

However, all of them agree that a privacy question will be an important issue then.  Today we can connect many pages to Facebook but, as Mark Suster says, it gives those web-sites unprecedented access to your personal data.

He also tells us that not so long time ago Diaspora was created in direct response to the growing concerns about Facebook privacy and lock-in.  Whether Diaspora will work we can only guess.  But many people would like to see them or similar companies emerge.

As we can see, there are many opinions about Social Networks and especialy Facebook future. What do you think about it? Will Facebook remain the most popular social network, or will we switch to something else?


You can read more here:

1. “Conflicting ideas on the future of social networking” by Leigh Marriner


2. “Social Networking: The Future” by Mark Suster


3.  “Is Facebook a Fad? What social networks will look like in five years”

by Farhad Manjoo


3 Responses to “What is the future of Social Networks”

  1. Bruce Spear May 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    It would be just great to know what the experts have to say about this and if you simply reported on them, using report structures:

    In this Techcrunch article from last December, http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/05/social-networking-future/, Mark Suster lists a number of detailed, well-reasonsed predictions about social software in the future. His first point is that social networking will become “portable”, and he explains it in terms of consumers in a struggle with Facebook: where Facebook would want to lock them in to their platform, consumers — people — have got their own ideas.

    What have I done here? I’ve not talked about my stupid opinion, but in the excellent collection of links you offered found one by somebody who clearly knows what he is talking about.

    And I checked him out, which is easy because at the bottom of that page is an excellent 60-slide slideshow you can download as well as a brief bio, and from there you can visit his excellent blog, http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/. Plus, before I dug down I surveyed his other posts and quickly realized there is a lot of substance there: if I am going to follow an expert, this is a great candidate!

    I did not view the youtube video you offered because I was not convinced by what you said that there was much there. Plus videos of more than a couple of minutes cost a lot of time: text I can skim at my own, fast speed. Hence, I could skim Suster’s blog and a bunch of posts in minutes, scan until I found a passage I might know something about or want to know, and then read in detail, which is what i finally did in the paragraph above … and where I explained what the author explains and used the reporting verb “explain”.

    I mean, all you’ve told me is that these so-called experts believe everything thing social networking is going to be everywhere, which tells me nothing. What I found in Suster is an argument I could sink my teeth into because it explains how things work: People want to do things, like choose their networks, and that monopolistic efforts by nasty businesses like Facebook have no chance. He is appealing to our sense of human nature — at least the humans he is talking about — and to experience: that people are acting in certain ways … the ways he describes in the next points.

    I’m still not sure that I’ve found the best way to help you: after all, I’ve been talking about reporting on others, using report structures, etc., etc., for weeks, and that’s what’s you’ve started to do here. I now think that maybe the key word is “explain” and maybe the advice should be: “find someone who is explaining how something works and then explain what he explains and explain how he is explaining it.”

    Want to try that?

    • sasha1989 May 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

      Thank you for your comment, Professor. I understood what you wanted to say. I’ve changed it already.

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