Did anyone ever imagine a day when the mighty Facebook might be threatened? But they must feel that they are! Their potential younger audience is being inveigled by the likes of Instagram and SnapChat, and Google are pressing for the rest of it. But Facebook saw off the old guard of MySpace and Bebo (or was that AOL mismanagement?), have weathered the Twitter and Linked In storms (for now), and fought off nagging pretenders, such as Pinterest. So why shouldn’t they just sail off into the sunset again as master of the seas?
A massive threat is looming in the shape of mobile messaging apps. These innovations are proving to be much more immediate than that of the asynchronous Facebook model, and are much more appealing to mobile users. This latter point has been embraced particularly by the Asian market, which is dominated by mobile networks much more so than the rest of the world. Time will tell whether Facebook can fight off this threat convincingly, but that isn’t all; Google are putting together a much more menacing assault to its rival’s dominance.
This web giant seems to have been buying up anything that moves over the past few years, from “Applied Semantics” to “Zagat“; they’ve also started to deliver the Internet straight to your door in the shape of “Google Fiber”. But as Facebook wasn’t for sale they needed a different tactic – subtle brute force! You might, as an example find yourself logging into new online tools more regularly via a Google account rather than your Facebook one, and as the younger, non-Facebook-perusing element leave school and become work colleagues, Facebook might begin to find itself being bypassed. Linked In has firmly established itself as the network of the professional; Snapchat is a firm favourite of the young (who’ll probably stick with it as they get older), and Google+ is looking to hoover up anyone else who doesn’t keep their wits about them.
As this infographic by Irfan Ahmad of Digitalinformationworld shows, Google are determined that “+” doesn’t sink below the waves, just like its predecessor “Wave” did!
Now we’re not comparing Facebook to the Third Reich here, but they must feel a little like the beleaguered WWII German leadership did in 1945, with the big hitters all crowding around landing punches, and some of the small fry taking chunks out where they can safely do so. Can Facebook survive these new concerted attacks? Only you can decide.