Last year, Eric Jackson wrote a piece on Forbes about why Facebook might disappear in 5 years. This week, approximately one year later, he revisited that topic, and believes that the events of the past year were on track with his 2012 post and that Facebook is poised to disappear.
The way Jackson uses the word “disappear” is a bit sensationalistic. He doesn’t expect Facebook to go out of business, but he is expecting that Facebook’s prominence is on pace to decline as the next 4 years transpire.
While none of us can say we know exactly what will happen in the future, I perceive Jackson’s argument is lucid and persuasive.
Every time a shiny new object comes out, the older forms of technology lose their luster. We’ve seen this time and time again with regard to media channels for marketers. When television burgeoned, there were numerous predictions that it would spell doom for radio. Radio is still around today. In the present, some even wonder if television is losing its place. With the technology space, in just 20 years, we’ve seen 3 clearly defined generations in web technology. There was the Web 1.0 era of the websites, Web 2.0 era of social media and now a Web 3.0 Mobile era, as more and more Internet time is being logged on mobile devices. The importance of a corporate website is still there, as the company website is still a crucial part of the marketing mix. The Web 2.0 social media presence still will deserve, but Web 2.0 in 2017 will not mean the same thing as Web 2.0 in 2007 or 2013.
If Facebook does decline in cultural significance and user engagement in time, that does not spell the end of multichannel marketing. Multichannel marketing will be around in 4 years. It won’t be exactly as it is today. There will continue to be a proliferation of media channels that fragment audiences and many of the same content challenges that marketers face today will be challenges in 4 years. Effectively optimizing, managing and distributing content is going to be a pain point for marketers in 4 years. Organizations that do not use a Distributed Marketing Platform will still be at a significant disadvantage without one.
The only constant is change. In marketing, the fundamentals have stayed the same over time, but the way that the fundamentals have been executed over time has changed. The marketing mix of 20 years ago wouldn’t produce the same results today. Likewise, that is analogous to multichannel marketing. Multichannel marketing will not be what it is in its entirety today, but the basic, fundamentals that form the backbone of it will it present in forthcoming times.