In the world of social media, Facebook is currently king. But how long will its reign last?

Facebook may be undisputed king of today's online era, but how long will its towering reign last? Popular communications technology savant  Robert X. Cringely makes a very curious prediction using what looks like be simple mathematics: after seven years, he says, Facebook will experience a decline in popularity.

How did Cringely come up with such a prediction? According to Cringely, each era of computing seems to run for about a decade of total dominance by a given platform:

Mainframes (1960-1970) Minicomputers (1970-1980) Character-based PCs (1980-1990) Graphical PCs (1990-2000) Notebooks (2000-2010) Smart phones and tablets (2010-2020) Upon looking at the following leaders in each succession, Cringely sees an interesting pattern: IBM (1960-1985) [25 years] DEC (1965-1980) [15 years] Microsoft (1987-2003) [15 years] Google (2000-2010) [10 years] Facebook (2007-?) Following Cringely's logic, we can deduce that the “lifespan” of such leaders becomes shorter as innovations spring forward faster than ever before. The lingering question now is: what's next after Facebook?

Robert Cringely

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