Sounding Facebook’s death knell

Speculation has been circulating for weeks now, ever since Facebook’s IPO fell short of amazing in May, that the largest and most popular social networking site has begun its decline into irrelevance á la MySpace and Friendster before it.

It’s only a matter of time, right?

What is the likelihood that in this rapidly changing world of social networking that a company like Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or Pinterest can outlast the constant march forward—ever reinventing and revamping itself to grow its appeal and broaden its user base and ultimately its profit margin.

So, we watch and wait to see what Facebook’s next move will be to quell these speculators that are watching its stock ticker like a heart-rate monitor. Critics point to Facebook’s tardiness at jumping into the mobile arena. Its Facebook apps have been slow and clunky. They point to its ongoing charade with privacy issues, saying people want to keep their information private and find Facebook’s past sly changes to privacy protection confusing and untrustworthy. Analysts also point to users wanting to keep their social circles more intimate, and Facebook’s philosophy promotes expanding one’s network, meeting as many new Facebookers as possible and maintaining an ever-expanding Friend’s list.

Other critics say Facebook’s consistent roll out of new features in its most basic of layouts and functions, such as the Timeline and the News Feed, make the site less desirable to use. And as the social web shifts into a money-making model, will Facebook be able to keep up?

Even while Facebook closes in on 1 billion active users worldwide, there’s a lot of history pointing to its eventual demise. Does anyone still have a MySpace account?


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