Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Facebook is the new Coca-Cola.

The other day I was reading an article in a business magazine and they were trying to predict trends and wax financial about the future of the economy and what would replace the things we already have in society.

One of the questions was about someone trying to predict or create what comes after facebook.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I have come to realise that my prediction, in this whole affair, is that nothing is going to come after facebook. Well not nothing, there will be things invented and created i'm sure, but nothing is going to over take it.

Here is my reasoning, and we're going to mention MySpace and Bebo and frienster and Hi5 and every other failed networking site as well. MySpace used to be the best thing on the internet. But nothing changed, nothing was updated, nothing was new, there was no user to client contact and thus no improvements in the service (and still, there's no new beneficial improvement; all the new things we saw on facebook a year before).

I'm not the biggest fan of facebook, which you wouldn't guess considering the amount of hours I spend on it. The reason I'm not a fan is the amount of hours. It has me trapped, I want to know if someone has posted new pictures, I want to know if so and so is attending the event I'm thinking of going to, I want to know how my friends are doing and what they are up to all day.

I find myself refreshing the page, just in case, about a million times a day. It's now a habit. Those are my reasons for not liking it. I also fear that it will get too big, that there will be too much information and we will all explode from an information over-load. My other beef with social networking sites in general is that they mess with the general order and natural cycle of friends. I can now stay in touch with the people that bullied me in high school, or the people that I knew when i was 5 years old and I could still play out in the street and not get kidnapped.

But back to my theory. Myspace has never changed, it was replaced, and now, rather than realise that it is actually used for music more than networking, it continues to wriggle the knife further into its own heart. It's time it reinvented itself and came up with new ideas rathe than ideas pinched from facebook.

Facebook on the other hand updated their site, changed the layout, realised there was a problem with information display and did something about it. At first people could choose to change sites, eventually everyone had to. And they had the attitude of 'you will get used to it' when people moaned and complained. Now, I quite like it. people hate change, but once they know it for it a while they won't remember what was before. And that is what they knew and what they did.

The people behind facebook and who are working constantly on facebook are not stupid, they are smart, and they know how to stay alive. If they had just left things the way they were all myspace hell might have broken loose and they would be burried in the dust like friendster and hi5.

So my theory is that facebook is going to be like coca-cola, it's not going anywhere. It will have competetors, there will be cheaper versions, but it will always capture the main market, and it's not because the product has every changed. No, it has always tasted the same, just the marketing and the look changed. The logo progressed, the advertising was clever, and always different.

So as long as facebook keeps the product the same, ie. makes sure it's ALWAYS a social networking site that is easy to use and clutter free, but changes the look to keep up with technology then my bet is that it's not going anywhere, and that it will become a brand like Apple, McDonalds, Nike and Coca Cola.

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