Google & Facebook Disappearing in 5 Years? Forbes Says They Might!

By on May 31, 2012

In an interesting post by Forbes the other day, the business giant suggested that omnipotent Facebook and Google might not be ‘around’ in the next 5-8 years. Sounds scary, right? But then I carried on reading – and they made some edgy points. Today, I’m going to pick through their reasoning and make a statement of my own. Read on!

A Modern Disappearing Act

According to Forbes – the internet has gone through 3 generations. Each generation seems to replace the next, at least enough to diminish the original technology a fair bit. They use Myspace as an example. While Myspace was one of the first social media sites, it was eventually outclassed by more innovative sites, and was completely overshadowed by them.

The 3 generations have been: The Web 1.0 companies like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay, who all rose to fame between 1994 and 2001. The second generation was web 2.0 – companies like Facebook and LinkedIn that came to power between 2002-2009. Now, with the latest generation upon us ‘the mobile era’ – we’re seeing sites like Instagram climb to the top.

That’s 3 generations – with vast differences between them. As the Forbes article states – each generation before the last, can’t seem to move forward, or ‘wrap its head’ around the next evolutionary stage on the internet. For example – Google, try as they might – hasn’t been able to succeed with social media. We’ve seen this in the repeated failures ultimately culminating in the Google+ debacle.

The Evolving Times

Now that everything’s ‘gone mobile’ experts are predicting that Facebook and other social sites like LinkedIn are going to experience a steady decline. ‘The web is dead’ they say. Forbes says in a few years’ time – Facebook and Google might be gone completely. This is a controversial statement – but I’m afraid it’s also completely unfounded.

What Will Actually Happen

Google isn’t going anywhere. Neither is Facebook. What will happen, is that these sites will adapt to the new mobile generation, by buying into it. They will expand by evolving into mobile driven platforms. I honestly don’t think mobile will ever replace the desktop internet. The screens are too small, and that diminishes the fun you can have while online.

While tablets and iPads will drive the ‘mobile field’ the online sites attracting the most attention will stay the same. Facebook will morph into something better. Google will probably continue to lead the way in search. To suggest that mobile sites like ‘Instagram’ will replace the popularity of the originals is short-sighted.

Perhaps in 20 years these companies will be something very different. Google might own the market on augmented reality, real-world social glasses for example, that communicate with you as you walk. It sounds futuristic, but they’ve already announced the patent and prototype. Far from disappearing, I think Google and Facebook will continue to be 2 giant leaders in our fledgling social society.

I agree with Forbes that investing in the mobile field is the right thing to do – but I certainly don’t see the social giants shrinking away from change anytime soon. This we’ve seen in Facebook’s continued evolution, and Google’s compulsive attempts at change.

What do you think? Will Facebook and Google disappear in a few years’ time because of mobile technology?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
  • Pingback: Google and Facebook Disappearing in 5 Years? Forbes Says They Might! | Social Media Marketing University()

  • zoneofsilence

    This will never happen at least not in the case of GOOGLE. FACEBOOK may change its look and feel but people have got so addicted – sharing photos, their current location, sharing silly things like a plate of sausages – Facebook has become a 2nd skin. GOOGLE – the world will end if GOOGLE disappears. Last week when the slight disengagement with Google occurred – I was devastated. I am into research and writing and my start and end my day with GOOGLE just like million others like me around the world. Serg and Larry – You’ll have made the world a small island. I can’t think of everyday living without Google 🙂 Bless both the genuises.

Close

Like what you're reading?

Like us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for more!