Here's the thing: There's only one social network that will topple Facebook, and that's Facebook.
People like their homes. It's why Oklahomans don't move after multiple tornadoes. It's why Detroit keeps rebuilding. And, it's why I stay in San Francisco despite living through the '89 earthquake.
And, Facebook is a home. It would take a monumental failure on Facebook's part to suddenly lose a majority of its "citizens." The key word there is "suddenly."
There's no doubt in my mind that Facebook is going to crash and burn. I'm not rooting for a failure, but it's sure to happen. And, I guarantee you that failure is going to be handed to Facebook on a privacy silver platter.
Just this week, Facebook citizens got a major scare. Mass panic ensued within a large portion of the Internet community when French newspapers reported that Facebookers' old PRIVATE messages were showing up publicly within their Timelines. The story was recounted within multiple stateside tech publications. Soon, Twitter feeds were awash with people citing examples of their private info being bare to the world.
Turns out, it wasn't true (supposedly). But, many many people BELIEVED it could be true and rushed to see if:
1) The trash-talking they did about their boss was public
2) The trash-talking they did about their spouse was public
3) The behind closed (bedroom) doors talk was public
Facebook famously saves an enormous amount of data about you. Case in point: when it rolled out Timeline and Messages... Voila! All your historic info automatically populated. So, what happens when a breach in privacy finally does happen?
Imagine if the shopping info Facebook has about you from its deal with Datalogix somehow goes public (hacking, bug, unintentional user experience).
Why Myspace Matters To Google+
Social is like a monarchy. The king (Facebook) has to worry about other kings (Apple, Instagram before purchasing) stealing away its citizens. The other kings won’t steal the citizens with the same type of kingdom (community, services). The other kings steal citizens’ teams with different types of kingdoms (music, photos).
The princes (Google+, MySpace), meanwhile, wait for the king to step down (unlikely) or die (see above: “Predicting Facebook’s Monumental Failure”). It’s the most powerful prince, through age or through allegiances, that takes over for the king.
Before this week, it looked like there was only one prince underneath the Facebook king: Google+. Google+ wasn’t anything special, but it was ready to step in if the king went down.
This week, a new prince was born when MySpace released the preview video for the new MySpace. And, while anyone can make a cool video (especially Justin Timberlake), this new prince looks like it has some potential.
Here’s the problem with Google+: The company centered its launch around a community that contained some cool features.
Here’s what is looking good about the new MySpace (I never thought I’d say those words): The company centered its launch around cool features that might grow a community.
Bringing It Home
Most people have enough friends and family in their life. Their community is filled. They don’t want to bring home more people. They want to bring home cool stuff. Stuff that makes them happy. Stuff that educates. Stuff that entertains.
Facebook provides a lot of people, entertainment, education, etc. Google+ does as well, but not that differently than Facebook. MySpace, however, looks like it might provide some cool new stuff, in a new way, that doesn’t require a community for it to work.
It’s much easier for a cool idea or thing to build a community (see: iPhone, Nike FuelBand, Kindle) because it can start without a community -- it works on an individual level. It’s much harder to start a community and hope cool things spring from it (see: Google+, Google Wave).
Hail to the new prince.