In the conclusion of our crystal ball series, up today: a question Mark Zuckerberg doubtless spends 19 waking hours on daily…

 

What is the future of Facebook?

“Rock solid.  ESPN was supposed to be dead by now.  Everyone adapts.”

“I feel like they have to create more ways to engage younger people or else it will lose out to Instagram.”

“Unsustainable in its current form.”

“Its power gets diluted and while not completely replaced, greatly reduced. As more consumers finally realize the exchange of personal info for the drug of Keeping Up with the Jones’ pics, other entrants to the community-meets-technology game become legitimate alternatives. It will likely enjoy a ride akin to network television or the cable industry in terms of staying power, but with tech/media companies’ stars lasting seemingly half-lives of previous trends, that may mean 10 more years.”

“Dead. The generation following Gen-Z likely won’t ever use it.”

“Instagram.”  (Love the brevity of my co-worker Abby Best.)

My take? 

Future government regulation (and existing bad press) will enable a competitive platform to gain traction, branding itself as the more secure, non-Facebook Facebook. Teenagers and tweens will be the first to spot it, happy to have a place their parents can’t reach. Facebook, however, will buy this new platform and put its muscle behind making it their primary, externally facing product, rendering Facebook a holding company for new consumer offerings that don’t have the image issues.

Thank you to my colleagues Scott Smith, Mike Sear, Abby Best, Lily Homstad, Lindsay Devos and Jay Sharman for helping me think through these pressing issues!

Now please tell us why we’re all wrong in the comments!

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