It seems inconceivable that companies like Facebook and Google could ever go away, because they are so pervasive and have such a huge lead over everyone else.
The only way I can see it is if the way we communicate fundamentally changes, and happens fairly quickly. That is, we are no longer using smartphones. Something seismic...not sure if I'll see that in my lifetime.
Look up Netscape. In tech, seismic shifts are fundamental to technology evolution. But I agree this will require something seismic. One possibility is that changing attitudes toward privacy and smaller form factors for advertising opportunities (such as AR glasses where you don’t want to be blinded by advertising) may be an interesting one two punch to these tech giant’s main revenue sources. In Web 2.0 content has been king, but there is a natural fit for lighter weight utility applications on the Internet (just tell me whether it’s going to rain), but they are much harder to monetize.
The next chapter is about a decentralized social platform operated by a DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) which is governed by members through a blockchain based voting mechanism.
Interesting, however decentralized may also mean without the nifty features that these platforms leveraged for mass adoption, Farmville for example (though it pains me to write that). Platform developers would have to buy into further development, as data privacy is not the killer feature to reach the masses — too many already give their data away for free. The strength of centralized is that incentives are aligned for scale. Even though “we” are the product, it does pump a lot of money into the platform development.
Agreed, everything comes with trade offs. That said, I’m involved in some DAOs through crypto and I’m feeling positive for their future potential.
Today's dumb question: What's a DAO?
Not dumb at all. It’s a concept in crypto currency circles that has become very popular. It stands for decentralised autonomous organisation. It’s essentially an org without a boss. Decisions are made based on a voting mechanism and anyone can submit proposals to vote on.
This is entertaining, it's written in the narrative style of a fairy tale...but the early kind, where they'rea bit nightmarish and its also the IRL story of a lot of this. Let's please write that next chapter already...
Let's please write that next chapter already...
Let's please write that next chapter already...
I'm less optimistic than the author (and other commenters) that Facebook's days are numbered. The author briefly mentions the network effect. Remember Google+, the fastest growing social media platform in history? Our parents never made the switch, and so eventually we all had to come crawling back to Facebook.
I'm also less optimistic that whatever follows Facebook will actually be better. More likely I think whatever kills Facebook will be even more manipulative, and even more of a privacy nightmare.
Good point. I keep hoping mostly because I've bailed myself, but I know plenty of other friends still holding onto their accounts for...whatever reasons. There's a lot of lockin with logins to other sites, contact lists etc...
It seems like the playbook these days just is the manipulative shit. I want the next thing to be better, but whether I believe it will happen...meh, not so sure as well. The nature of getting enough "users" and attention is usually leveraged on addictive computer models so...yea we might just be in for ruthless web experiences from now on but...uf, dare to dream that just might not happen (fingers not too optimistically crossed)
I appreciate the writing style, and I also acknowledge the need to create a main antagonist (here, obviously, Facebook).
Generally, the 'walled garden of apps' is the AOL of 2021. That includes every single application that closes you off from the web while handling your data opaquely.
As @Florian mentioned, all this is the liminal phase between web 2.0 and web 3.0, a decentralized internet with monetization native to the web, identity and security also baked in and less central control of 'nodes'.
Still, very long way to go. I think that, if you can manage it, you should commit some part of your time to playing a role in web3. It seems like something that will be rewarding - and not just financially.
This narrative perfectly captured by the author compares Facebook to AOL… in the way in which the internet seem to begin to feel boring.
Until the internet didn’t. With the growth of Web3/Cryptocurrencies we are on the cusp of an entirely new moment. Increasingly, I have found a way to navigate the web while still making more connections without FB.
This piece serves as a great reminder that we have had a boring internet before with AOL. FB is next, but I have a feeling the way in which we interact with Facebook will not be as dominant as it relates to our “online social life”…
Facebook will probably just end up being the first VR shopping mall, but just as with malls now… it will see it’s days wither.
Cheers to the unbundling of Facebook’s dominance!