Facebook Hype will Fade

Douglas Rushkoff on Facebook and what their recent Goldman Sachs investment infusion means longterm:

Yet social media is itself as temporary as any social gathering, nightclub or party. It’s the people that matter, not the venue. So when the trend leaders of one social niche or another decide the place everyone is socializing has lost its luster or, more important, its exclusivity, they move on to the next one, taking their followers with them. (Facebook’s successor will no doubt provide an easy “migration utility” through which you can bring all your so-called friends with you, if you even want to.)

We will move on, just as we did from the chat rooms of AOL, without even looking back. When the place is as ethereal as a website, our allegiance is much more abstract than it is to a local pub or gym. We don’t live there, we don’t know the owner, and we are all the more ready to be incensed by the latest change to a privacy policy, or to learn that every one of our social connections has been sold to the highest corporate bidder.

So it’s not that MySpace lost and Facebook won. It’s that MySpace won first, and Facebook won next. They’ll go down in the same order.

Rushkoff argues that Facebook’s time has, likely, already come to an end.  Users won’t just know it for awhile.  However, not that I have a pony in this race, but it seems to be the online social wars have ended for the time being.  The trees have shaken, the leaves have fallen and Facebook is still standing.  We know MySpace is for entertainment, LinkedIn is for work/careers, Twitter is the new AP Wire and Facebook is our everyday Rolodex.

Facebook’s dominance probably won’t dissipate in this space until the next wave of computing occurs.  It took the shift to mobile computing to end Microsoft’s dominance and it’ll probably take something that seismic to end Facebook’s dominance in the tapestry of our social lives.

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