Re: Facebook going the same way?
"Peak Facebook" in any given country is supposedly no more than about 50 percent of the population as 'active' users, and since 'active' has such a spectacularly low bar, 'genuinely enthusiastic' has to be far less. Yet with less than half the population engaged, the idea that everyone is using it grows up, principally driven by the media for their own ends, in turn putting pressure on the hold outs to get with the program.
But once the dust settles and the peak has been reached, the social pressure dissipates pretty quickly; the hold outs know that the worst is over and even casual users start to drop it. For the genuinely enthusiastic, the boot's then on the other foot and they in turn have to spend some 'facebook time' communicating in other ways.
The danger for facebook is that a slide turns into a rout as it did with myspace and bebo. Friends reunited suffered a spectacular demise, but settled down to occupy a useful niche that will inevitably be popular with some people, some of the time. Hard to admit it, but Facebook does have something useful in its core function to fall back on beyond the reality distortion bubble, but I suspect far greater expectations from investors and advertisers - who really do 'need' what it offers - will lead to a push for desperate action that will exacerbate any rout that develops with the "she'll no take it cap'n" school of business strategy.
FBs revenues may have gone up, but it's notable that it's principally mobile driving it, and that looks likely to be a poisoned chalice. Thanks partly to the NSA, the growing privacy movement isn't going away, even if it is going to be a slow burner (so was the 'quit India' movement). Either the law will be pressured to restrict snooping, or users - particularly those affluent educated ones beloved of admongers - will take their own steps. Either will hurt facebook worse than most, and the simple fact of ad saturation will reduce per impression revenues further. It's a bit like aviations 'coffin corner', and I don't really see how facebook can avoid being victims of their own success.
Unlike search, social networks rely less on their 'big idea' than they do on a bit of P T Barnum style- showmanship crossed with a generous helping of social tyranny to get them to the top, but once they arrive, only the big idea can retain their position, and facebooks isn't up to snuff. Companies this large don't vanish overnight, but I suspect facebooks future looks a lot less like Google than it does like the 'dead man walking' that yahoo is today.