First came the Internet, then came the World Wide Web (WWW). Then ... I'll come back to that.
To most of us Internet means the WWW. We tell our browser to go to a site where we want to do something, say, read news or pay the bills.
Let's look a few years into the future ...
... But maybe that's not so convenient anymore, because there are alternatives that are more convenient. Why should I need to remember addresses or store bookmarks. Ok, so I don't really need bookmarks thanks to Google's fantastic search, but I still have to type in a few characters just to get to do something. Why go through the trouble when I can simply go to one site to do anything I need: Facebook. Most of my friends are within easy reach by chat, voice, mail, messages and the usual status updates on the walls. All my pictures, party memories, addresses, notes, blogs, news, games and banking services are there. I can do hotel and ticket reservations, make phone calls of unlimited length free of charge, broadcast or just record my whole life from my flat or my car, have a book read to me. All these things are so easy to do that anyone, really anyone can do them, because the user interface is so logical and clear. You're never afraid of destroying anything. Almost anything can be undone.
Back to the present. That's quite a site, the Facebook site, and currently there's not much missing compared to what I described above.
Having built this fantastic do-everything site, Facebook can't risk something like a new browser war jeopardizing it. That's why we might see another browser, a Facebook-mostly browser. This browser handles Facebook really well and other sites half-heartedly.
It is quite interesting to look at the WWW and compare it to Facebook. In WWW each site owner has lots of freedom in choosing site-provider, site-layout, tools and most importantly: content. Do (or will) Facebook pages and groups give as much freedom? No they don't, but they might.
It's the networking effect that drives people towards Facebook. It's how well Facebook serves them that keeps them there. The world keeps changing though and at some time users might stay with Facebook, because of other considerations. It may be time to spread our social networking over more social networks.