One of the knocks against Facebook is that it is a somewhat closed, proprietary platform. Here’s how the argument goes: The ultimate technology platform, in contrast, is the Web itself. It is open and ultimately will triumph over all other platforms, including Facebook. Any innovations that take hold in closed environments are quickly replicated on the open Web. At some point network effects take over, and the utility of those innovations on the Web supercede those on the original platform.
Anil Dash furthers this argument in a post today:
Think of the web, of the Internet itself, as water. Proprietary platforms based on the web are ice cubes. They can, for a time, suspend themselves above the web at large. But over time, they only ever melt into the water. And maybe they make it better when they do.
So how long does Facebook have before it melts into the Web?
A: That won’t start to happen until you can take your friends (i.e., your social graph) with you.