Can Facebook and Youtube last forever?

Jack Girard

It’s an easy to say that TV is dying, but I feel there’s an argument to be made that staple sites like YouTube and Facebook will come under fire soon enough.

Twitter is in the ICU and Vine bled out, and they were giants. They’re darn near the most recognizable names on Twitter. However, running something of that size takes a lot of cash, and the owners had no idea how to monetize it. Foundationally, Twitter wasn’t meant to host as many people as it does. Vine is a similar story. Vine’s cultural impact was large by limiting time and encouraging creativity. The fact is that Vine didn’t upgrade at all. As Instagram and Snapchat added features, Vine stayed more or less the same.

Publicity does not equal profit. Despirte their wild popularity, social media sites like Facebook and Youtube still run by the basic principles of business. That brings us to the matter at hand.

YouTube has been around since only cat videos existed. However, if you’ve never heard of YouTube Heroes, you only know about half the story. The program uses unpaid volunteers to flag inappropriate, copyright infringing, or illegal materials for immediate channel takedown. The problem is that volunteers flag videos as hate speech when they simply do not agree with the content. It’s a regular occurrence that political, religious, and LGBTQ support videos are attacked.

It makes your favorite creators disappearing will do it. YouTube has a history of these kinds of issues. The company also has a history of siding with large companies over individual artists, which has repeatedly driven people to other sites.

Facebook has made gobs of money. If there was an online super power, that would be it. However, I’ve never heard positive comments outweigh the negative comments when an update comes. Not only that, but the site is 12 years old. Ironically around puberty age, the site has to avoid being a generation-locked product. Facebook doesn’t have a lot of youth appeal if you’re younger than 22. Snapchat and others like it present a different internet style. Not everything is permanently public. The fact the information is temporary means a greater freedom for mistakes. A company just has to make a Facebook knock-off with these traits and they can stake a claim to the belt.

No company is safe. Cliché as it is, we can only wait and see what’s agile enough to keep up with the society. Culture isn’t stagnant, and companies will have to stretch themselves to stay alive.