Game Over. Here’s Why Facebook Wins
Facebook will never have a worthy competitor. And anyone who tries will fail.
Why? Well for starters, Facebook has become a standard medium of communication, comparable to a phone or email. Everyone has one and it’s just inconvenient if you don’t.
When you have a product like this, there is only room for one. And for the past seven years or so, the world has decided Facebook is the one.
Sure we all get annoyed with Facebook from time to time and claim we are deleting our accounts and never coming back (that’ll really show ‘em!), but do we actually follow through? Nope. It’s like when people get mad at the government and say they are leaving the country for good. It’s all talk. As long as all of our friends are on Facebook, we will be too. Because at its core, Facebook is really nothing more than a way for friends and family to stay connected.
Facebook’s features that allow you to discover content with likes, shares, photos, etc. all aid in its success, but those things are all only secondary to its core. Essentially, they are by-products of the communication platform that is Facebook. Yea, some of the features are cool, but they really only make people not want or need to look at other platforms.
When looking at some of the sites that have tried to compete, it’s hard to recall any that lend itself to success. The biggest name that has made the attempt is Google+, but if Google+ really wants to succeed, it’s going to need to come up with a new angle. It CANNOT focus on becoming a way for friends and family to stay connected. Nobody needs another way. Facebook is the way.
The only way any competitor has a chance, is if Facebook makes some kind of major mistake. A mistake big enough to trigger users to leave on a mass, snowball-effect scale. A mistake like this could happen, and it’s not as unlikely as one might think. For example, a major security breach in which accounts are compromised could be the source. Or even lack of innovation, where the evolution of the product falls behind the needs of the majority (Myspace, anyone?).
Look at Skype, which has over 250 million users and is continually growing, and think back to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Skype now has enough market share that it’s the main instant messaging service. And unless it makes a huge mistake, it will stay that way. There are plenty of other options for instant messaging platforms, but people use Skype because that’s where everyone is. It’s a standard.
And when it comes down to it, people use Facebook because that’s where their friends are. Period. Tools that claim to keep you connected to friends and family are obviously useless unless your friends and family also utilize them. That’s why Facebook continues to work, no matter how frustrated we may get with it at times.
And that my friends is why Facebook will never have a worthy competitor.