It is with no great pleasure that I announce the following announcement: Facebook has won. And there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
One of the more interesting parts of my continued education in parenthood has come as my oldest daughter has begun using the internet more often. Or, rather, as she's starting to become more aware of it, and how she's using it. I don't really remember what it's like to be 9 years old. (And obviously have no idea what it's like to be a young girl growing up.) But I know if she were to sit down at the Apple IIc that I spent far too many days in front of at that age, she'd want to know when we were throwing out that relic and getting a real computer.
These days the conversation tends to turn to when she'll be allowed to have an Instagram account. It's interesting that IG is the No. 1 item on her hit list. That'll change at some point, I imagine. (And eventually she'll stop asking for permission and just sign up for things — another topic of discussion between my wife and I.)
And at some point, like too many of us, she'll sell her soul to Facebook.
The Vanity Fair piece on how Facebook set out to crush Google+ before it ever really got going kept me thinking. Despite being in so many ways an inferior product, Facebook will continue to win.
Google+ had (has) so many features that were (are) just better. Specifically, and recently, I've been thinking a lot about 360-degree photos and video. Google+ pretty much invented the 360-degree picture genre with Photo Spheres. YouTube handled 360-degree video from the start. Facebook didn't have either for a long time. It added video a ways back, and 360-degree pictures went live last week. Now? I see a lot of friends interested in how it's done. This is going to be big.
Or look at live video. Long with Google+ came Hangouts and Hangouts on Air, with the latter being a ridiculously easy way to share live video. Now look at how quickly Facebook Live is taking over. How quickly I see "normal" friends starting to livestream bits and pieces of their day. Not to a whole lot of people, mind you, but it's the fact that they're doing it at all that's so impressive. It's almost without thinking at this point.
You can have the best features in the world. But it doesn't matter if nobody's using them.
That's how Facebook won. And how it will continue to win. Sure, we've got minor disruptors like Snapchat and Twitter. (Yes, minor, if you look at the monthly active user numbers — something like 150 million or so compared to Facebook's 1.6 billion.) Will something come along one day that will capture our attention on such a global scale? Maybe. But for at least one generation or so, it's how people communicate. How they get their "news." (I take real issue with that, though.) It's how they share their lives. So many of us do it.
Oh, you can choose to not use Facebook, sure. But it's becoming harder and harder to not at least have an account. And if you give a mouse a cookie ... you'll soon be a monthly active user.
- I've been experimenting with Facebook Live a little more from the office. It's been interesting to see how folks react to it.
- The "You're an Android site — you must only use Google!!!" argument doesn't do anything for me.
- Also funny is the folks who think that bitching week after week will get us to start doing the podcast on video again. Video was always a happy side-effect, and something we never did while we were on the road. The sense of entitlement is pretty astounding.
- By the way, podcast numbers are as strong as they've ever been, and I love having folks like Daniel Bader and Michael Fisher on when we can.
- Our Moto Z special-edition show was so good!
- Speaking of podcasts ... Windows Central is back! I missed that intro music.
- So, America. We ready to do anything about this yet?
- Verizon and Samsung have updated the Galaxy S7 to the June security patch already. Credit where credit's due.
More thoughts on the Moto Z are coming this week. I'm still digesting what we saw a bit. For now, enjoy your Sunday!