What the heck? Why? How? — Questions that are probably running through your head after reading the title. Carry on reading if this prediction somehow interests/angers/enlightens you. If not, well, your loss!
Apple's advantage in the cloud game is that so many Mac and iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch owners already use the core applications that iCloud will seamlessly integrate into, such as iPhoto, iTunes, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and so forth. The keynote explained that, because of the seamless integration, people won't have to learn anything – it'll just work. Maintaining total synchronization will require no effort. No web apps to log into, no new interfaces, buttons, etc.
Facebook has achieved a comparable level of integration, but in its own sense. It has become a truly integral part of people's lives, as well as for the Internet itself. Facebook can never "fail" unless it was deliberately shut down. Too many people have too much already invested into it to just switch to another platform. Sharing photos, event planning, communication, entertainment, promotions, and gossip is apparently a winning formula. More after the jump...
Why Facebook is 1st in Social Media, probably forever*:
- Everyone and their Moms (literally) are on Facebook.
- Facebook Apps & Games are extremely addictive. 90 million active users!!
- Marketer's dream come true (Read this article to get a feel of what Facebook is worth). What's a "like" worth, anyway?
- Deeply rooted into MANY websites (likes, sharing, memberships, comments system, promotions, etc.).
- Cloud 9 for Advertisers looking for targeted promotions. FB knows you better than your Mom. So does Google, but Facebook more so. Oh!
* = Until the priorities of today's users of the Internet change, and some new service/platform beats Facebook to the punch to accomodate them, Facebook is not going anywhere. The brilliant talent that Facebook has been hiring will be put to the test in a matter of time. Chances are, they'll be fine.
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." — Oliver Wendell Holmes
The above quote by Mr. Holmes is one that has stuck with me for years. In our case, it means that nobody will ever accept anything less than what they are already used to. It's one of the luxuries of the Internet; bitching and whining about something you don't like or want. This is the very reason why there's an uproar every time Facebook changes the layout. People lose what they worked so hard to learn and get used to, only to realize that those changes were actually pretty good (usually), thus end up liking the updates after all.
A true competitor is one that offers a superior product, puts more on the table, and goes for the jugular (the target's mind and heart).
Apple will continue its dominance...
- Apple gives you the experience they think you want, before you even want it. Admit it, you usually do want it!
- You subconsciously grow dependent on the Apple products you use, and when it's gone, you cry. It's love.
- You fall victim to Apple's marketing, because their ads are flawless, and based on truth.
- If Apple knows how to do one thing well, it's integration; iTunes, iOS, App Store, and now iCloud.
- Apple takes existing ideas and makes them better, functional through minimalism and simplicity. Think Different™
Meanwhile companies will continue trying to figure out why the iPad is selling so well, and why their technically superior devices are not.... Apple understands how to engineer great experiences, not just pretty looking hardware. This is what will emotionally lock users in (just like Facebook) and help Apple build a reliance on iCloud, to the point where no one can afford its failure, therefore mimicking the Facebook model.
Once you get used to your devices constantly and seamlessly being synched with your photos, calendars, documents, contacts, and apps, anything less will simply be unacceptable. iCloud failing is equivalent to Facebook losing its photo sharing ability, ergo leading to its epic collapse. People's lives are ingrained into Facebook's services, and the iCloud is aiming to do just that.