It happened to MySpace and it's happening again to Facebook now. People flock to a new social network because it is the popular fad at the time. The original intention of every social networking website is to connect friends, whether it be over long distances or short. For any specific number of reasons. For instance, take the fact that Facebook started off as a small netowking app for the university Zuckerberg went to so that he could network with his lap partners and friends easier and pass information that way.
After a while though, when the crazy mobs catch wind of these applications they occupy it and they start using it, and it explodes. Look at MySpace, when it first started it was bulky, clunky, had an ugly UI, and you could hardly do anything. However with the pallets of cash they were hauling in from the masses using their website and hitting their ads, the were able to massively improve upon it until there were a wide variety of features, the UI was streamlined and the website ran like a ferrari. But people got bored with it. We are in the era of instant gratification. If we can't get what we want right now, and it doesn't keep us entertained for a long time, we'll move on to the next big thing.
Thus, facebook was just at the right place at the right time. People moved from MySpace to facebook almost overnight. Which skyrocketed facebook into fame and gave them huge amounts of cash, It was the first to introduce developer tools so that not just big named companies who had the capital and importance to take to other corp execs, could purchase adspace about whatever they want. It was a double win for facebook. The advertisers paid for the adspace and then facebook got paid extra per hit to their website. Not unlike the way youtube runs. Facebook has had a couple good running years but i'm afraid it's time is coming very quickly. Here's why:
1) The first telltale sign was the over-monetization of facebook. The desperate attempts by Facebook Inc, to make money on every possible facet of facebook was the first sign. The first plague of facebook if you will. This included the facebook currency that was required for almost any of the facebook games if you wanted to have a fair and enjoyable playing experience. What's that? you want fluid mouse control like any normal video game? that'll cost you 25 facebook points. What's that? you want tomorrow's horoscope before tomorrow? That will be 15 Facebook points.
2) The second telltale sign which has only emerged in recent weeks is the desperation by a large group of the community to get as much attention placed on them as possible. Usually this is taken in the form of those "Like if you..." status's where they have a picture of something they want you to remember, notice or agree with. This, in specific will end up pushing the majority of the facebook community away. The people who don't care for that and don't like to see nothing but a wall plastered with it, will end up leaving Facebook for a new service in a few months.
When MySpace met it's demise, it was because of a lack of content or support and because it had so many security holes, it looked like a number 9 sponge. The same thing is happening to Facebook at an accelerated rate. Advertisements that are being posted put virus's and spyware on your computer, profile apps require access to everything to do something as simple as tell you what 1+1 is. Seriously, i'd be shocked and awed if someone could tell me one app on facebook that didn't require access to your friends list and/or your posting functions before you could use it. On top of that, whether the app is a virus lying in dormant or an actual legitimate app is a bit of a coin toss and there's no real way to discern the two.
I Feel that the under-aged public tends to destroy these social networking sights left and right, and Facebook's near future demise has been predicted by many before me and i certainly won't be the last. The only question is: What will the next big social network be? and Will it succumb to the corporate machine that has monetized and destroyed the last two generations?