Over the past few months there’s a shifting in the internet’s tectonic plates, and the effect comes in such small waves that you might have missed it
Over the last few years the internet shaped itself to what we know as the Social internet.
The social networks such as Facebook, Twitter Youtube, WordPress, Instagram, Tumbler and many more web sites gave us the power to control the content on the internet rather then just consume it. For the more consuming parts we used Spotify/Rdio/Pandora for music and Netflix/Hulu etc. for movies and TV shows. There was a defined order:
You write a status on Facebook, you upload a video to Youtube, you write blog posts on WordPress or Tumblr, you watch your shows on Netflix etc.
But in the last year or so, something has been changing in the online world, that might alter the entire order of things for years to come.
The Tectonic plates of the internet are shifting right before our very eyes.
I’ll start with something that looks so obvious you might not have fully understood its significance. The new Facebook search:
Facebook now offers a search tool not only for people, but for keywords. No more will you need to scroll through newsfeed updates from 2009 to find that post your friend wrote about you. Just type in a keyword and you’ll find all posts mentioning that word.
This alone might seem like a great update to the search (while bringing up a few privacy concerns for some) and nothing more.
When you add this to Facebook’s new video function: View counts, “See more from” and the auto play in the news feed, combined with the fact that Facebook no longer lets you watch Youtube videos inline, but prompts you to a new tab, what you have is a “Youtube killer”.
Think about it: You now have a service that gives you the things Youtube does, now including a Key word search, plus Auto-play and inline feed view, why would you even want to put your child’s first words on Youtube when many more people are going to “Owwwww” at it in Facebook, and they’re relevant people too.
And on the other side of the world, Youtube is planning a revolution of its own. As more and more artists realize that music streaming services are not giving them the return they expected, Artists like Taylor Swift, that recently pulled all her music catalog from Spotify, and Pharrell Williams that was reported last week to only make $2300(!) from his 43M(!!) streams of hit song ‘Happy’ on Pandora, Youtube now opened a beta for its Youtube Music Key service, a direct sign of war over the old music streaming world.
Another front Youtube is tackling is the On-Demand official video streaming. You can now watch full featured movies on Youtube, by renting them or buying them.
A good example will be the latest release of Seth Rogen’s The Interview, that was made available online in selected places, one of them is Youtube, where you could stream it for $6 or buy it for $15.
So to sum it up, we have Facebook becoming a Youtube killer (after it tackled the problem of being second on the photo wars by just buying Instagram, the competition) and Youtube becoming a Spotify etc. + Netflix etc. killer.
Meanwhile, Netflix is doing the only thing it can to survive for the long run: Making great original content like Orange is the new black, House of cards and so on. The only thing we know for sure is that the future of the internet as we know it is going to be different from what we’ve become accustomed to. The best news about this so called shifting, is that usually when giants go to war over the crowd, the ones that benefit the most in the aftermath is the crowd itself.
What do you think about this shift taking place? Can you think of another internet giant that is a part of it? Let us know in the comments.
This post was originally published on Kobaiko.com
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