Has Facebook Won?
Posted August 14, 2017
The Internet and social media have changed the way we live our daily lives and interact with the world. This means that they have also drastically changed the video and media industry. What was once a top-down industry with a small number of people creating content and a large number of people consuming it, has turned into a more complex web of content creators and consumers around the world.
The many social platforms on the web have made the barrier to entry for producing professional video basically zero. Now, anyone with a smartphone can create professional quality content and distribute it to millions of people around the world. While this shift is taking place, many different platforms on the web are competing for dominance in this space. As there are infinite options for content on the web, any given platform wants to be the main hub where people both distribute and consume content -- particularly video content.
While there are many players in this space there is an upper tier of sites like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to name a few. Among these upper-tier platforms each one is trying to position itself ahead of the others. This can be seen in the constant efforts of these companies to "one-up" each other. The current holy-grail for these sites seems to be original streamable content. That is not to say they are all after your cat video, but rather they are all looking for professional quality, formatable content that will drive viewers to their sites. This is seen with Snapchat's discover feature, Twitters new turn to video, and Facebook's new Watch tab.
The question remains though, is there a clear winner amongst these platforms, and is it too late for others to enter the fold?
Rory Cellan-Jones from the BBC thinks that the era of creative destruction is over and there are clear winners:
On Friday, another one bit the dust. As Snap's shares plunged following disappointing results, it became clear that the myth that a feisty young challenger to Facebook could topple the social media giant from its perch was just that - a myth.
Of course, the company behind Snapchat is still a very impressive young business, building an audience of 173 million mostly young daily users in just five years and changing the way they communicate, in fun and inventive ways.
But its future as an independent company looks uncertain, with talk of it being swallowed up by Google or another web giant.
The deep pockets of Facebook, which bought Instagram and WhatsApp, and has relentlessly copied any challenger it couldn't buy, meant that Snap was always going to struggle to deliver on the vision of rapid growth it outlined when marketing its shares earlier this year.
And that just adds to the growing sense that the days of creative destruction in the technology industry may be over, and that we are looking at a world where the big winners of the past decade - Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, or "Gafa" as this four-headed beast is sometimes described - will rule unchallenged.
Read the full article here.