Everything is susceptible to something that revolutionises peoples’ need and wants. The hope for Apple, Microsoft, Google is that they can get in early on whatever that is. The problem for Facebook is that nobody needs it. If it was genuinely a place to hang out with friends it would be a nice place to visit – but it is raddled with the platform itself pushing users towards a desired destination, whether to sell stuff to them or to inflate its own attraction to users. And that is always susceptible to simply falling out of favour. Desires are fickle. And then advertisers will desert it and it will be a big, empty ship. Maybe.
The question at the moment is whether Google can defeat the legislation that is being proposed that would make its platform responsible for the content it links out to. Google has been emailing its users (I have had two emails from them) saying how dangerous this is for access to information, because – says Google – if it has to be responsible for that content it will destroy its business.
Apple is on the right side of this in that it is pushing a privacy-first model.
Then there is the risk that legislators will insist companies simply split up because they dominate the market.
I think the special case of Facebook is that a significant narrative is that people – users included – do not like the platform. They use it, but they don’t like it.