I was asked this question while at a dinner party the other night. It seemed like an easy answer with all the big names we know today involved, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, but then I had a “ah ha” moment.
Will these companies still be around?
Will Google inherit the meek?
Will Facebook use its power for good?
The question is not one that can be answered quickly, or correctly. There are opinions and biases that will influence each of us when we ask ourselves this exact question. Many of us rely on more than one of the aforementioned tech companies for our livelihoods, so there is a vested interest in the REAL answer. As for the rest of us these companies will sculpt our social lives, influence our purchases and fill our “Digital Tool Boxes”.
The first answer most people have to this question is Google. Google the search engine, Google the advertiser, Google the e-commerce site, and Google the social platform. With a majority of all online interactions occurring on Google properties its hard to argue that answer, or is it?
The second most popular answer to where our digital fate lies, is Facebook. To me this was the most intriguing answer of all.
Facebook is just a social platform right?
The general consensus takes Facebook at face value, a social site. But, there is clearly more going on behind Facebooks’ doors than meets the eye or monitor. There are efforts to develop a search entity based off of the information provided to Facebook by its users. The recent acquisition of Instagram by Facebook could be viewed as an opportunity to serve pictures and images to its search results. This seems a lot like what Google did when they acquired Youtube to offer more robust video data for search results.
As for the rest of the tech companies mentioned they have not demonstrated the the resilience of Google or Facebook. There has not been a start-up or group of companies that seem to even show a possibility of competing in the same arena as Facebook and Google.
After all that, I seem to have uncovered my answer, “somewhere between Google and Facebook”!
Ask yourself , “Who do I see as the dominant internet force in next 5 years?”