It’s now 2014, and it seems like almost everyone on the planet with an internet connection has a Facebook account, or at least knows what Facebook is. The social network grew up with the Web 2.0 movement and helped propel it as the dominating philosophy behind design of the web. With over a billion users, many think that Facebook will never go away. However, scientists at PrincetonUniversity are saying otherwise.
According to a recent report which is being shared throughout the internet (and all over Facebook itself), “academics at Princeton University” report that Facebook “could lose up to 80 percent of its users by 2017.” You might be wondering, how is that possible? There are hundreds of millions of active users ranging from young kids to senior citizens.
What exactly did these researchers base their claims on? They decided to study the demand for social media platforms using the number of Google searches. Essentially they compared MySpace’s Google search history with Facebook’s. After MySpace reached its zenith in 2008, it declined rapidly and ultimately fell into obscurity. The researchers are saying that Facebook reached its peak in December of 2012.
They even went as far to say that the decline of social media platforms like MySpace and Facebook spread and die like a disease. People become bored with the services and move on, much like when masses of people become immune and defeat a disease, preventing it from becoming widespread again.
As you can imagine, this report has generated quite a bit of criticism. Today is a different era than 2008. People all over the developing world are using mobile and other technologies to access Facebook and connect with others. The demand is global now, and access for billions more is becoming more possible each day. There’s no way to predict the future, but a majority of the critics on the web are viewing this report with extreme skepticism.
Come 2017, we’ll know if these researchers’ predictions were true, or not.
If you pay any attention to the tech world, there’s no doubt you’ve heard the news about a recent hefty purchase made by Google. On January 13th, Google announced to the world that it had clinched a deal to purchase a company called Nest Labs for a pricey $3.2 billion. That’s a lot of money, so why is Google willing to spend so much on one company?
Nest Labs makes a variety of “smart-devices” or “smart-products” that bring the Internet into places where traditionally it has never had an influence. For example, Nest makes a thermostat that can be controlled via the Internet as well as provide information about your home remotely
Google is paying top dollar for Nest because of the potential the company has. Its staff is made up of people who have spent time at companies like Apple and Logitech. They have a lot of experience in design and both of Nest’s current products are top-of-the line when it comes to integrated electronics. Google is obviously hoping to combine its expertise with Nest’s.
It looks as if Google has seen the potential that Nest has to create tech solutions to our every day problems and concerns.
Google’s purchase of Nest also gives it a firm foothold into the business of home connectivity. There’s also a chance that integrating home connectivity products with Google’s systems gives them even more data about users, data that Google relies on for highly targeted and effective advertising.
We might not be accessing our favorite web 2.0 platforms or social media via our house itself, but that could be where things are headed in the future. For now, we’ll have to stick to the gadgets we love to access the web and control our home. However, the future will certainly be interesting, so keep an eye on what Google does with Nest!
Here at Wb2.com, we like to stay abreast of developments in the tech world, especially those relating to the internet. As we approach the halfway point of the second decade of web 2.0’s influence on the web, it’s important to take a look into the future to see what changes might be coming.
Blake Callens at ExitEvent has written a great article covering four trends he says you should look out for in the coming year. One of them directly discusses web 2.0 and its future.
The first three trends he discusses are also worth taking a look at, before getting to the web 2.0 trend. The first trend Blake mentions, one you’ve likely noticed already, is the move to mobile. More and more people are using smartphones and tablets to access the web, compared to the traditional PC or laptop.
Secondly, Blake sees voice recognition becoming the norm when it comes to interacting with technology. This will certainly be an interesting trend to keep an eye on. Will consumers truly embrace voice technology? That remains to be seen.
Third (and related to web 2.0) is Blake’s prediction that social networking will shift towards messaging services and “feed based networks.” The traditional powerhouse and web 2.0 giant Facebook may see more and more people moving away from its service.
Finally, with respect to the web 2.0 model, Blake and many others foresee problems when it comes to businesses. Businesses are realizing that even with all of the online data at hand for consumers and users, turning that data into profit requires a very large user base. These critics have a point regarding web 2.0 as a business model. Many of the most famous web 2.0 platforms like Reddit and Twitter have never made a profit. If Twitter fails to start making large profits after recently going public, the web 2.0 business model might be on its way out.
If you’re a regular to our blog, you certainly know by now the importance of user-generated content and the ability to share that content is an essential part of the web 2.0 movement that has helped to shape the internet for the past 14 years. These two points are some of the most important reasons that the web 2.0 philosophy took off and guided the design of the internet.
Big companies like Google and Facebook rely on the ability for people to share information, content, and media to shape their entire business. Without this ability the web would be a very different place and probably be far less popular than it is today.
One application that was proving very effective and easy for its users to share any data they wanted, called Bump, was recently shut down, as announced by Google. Google bought Bump Technologies in the fall of 2013 and in a matter of just a few months they decided to shut down development and have its staff work on other internal Google products.
Bump was a well-known sharing app that made the transfer of data and content incredibly easy, mostly because it was functional across all platforms as long as each party had the app. Some people are criticizing the efforts of Google. By shutting down the service, many see Google as taking the technology and making it their own. Real web 2.0 proponents would want this tech and ability to share to be as open and usable by as many people as possible. This won’t be the case now that Bump has been shut down.
Expect to see Google release something incredibly similar to what Bump has been doing, but also expect it to be integrated into Google+, Google’s social media platform. It looks as if the web 2.0 movement is becoming more of a fight between different companies. They want to sell you their web 2.0 and they will do whatever it takes to provide the technology they think people on the web want to use.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of Google’s Bump team. In the meantime make sure you back up your data if you were a Bump user!