Where is social networking going exactly? Will Facebook still exist in a recognisable form in 100 years? (I’d say certainly not). Some people are of the opinion that “social networking” is a con designed to persuade people to part with marketable information:
Perhaps [people will] realise that web 2.0 is not there to “connect you with the people around you” and not about some pseudo-academic “social graph”. That’s the bait. The switch is the big data centre pumping adverts based on your age, where you live, who you’re friends with, what you like doing for fun, your politics and your grandmother’s shoe size.
This leads to many interesting debates about who owns the data held on social networking websites, and how much the whole shebang is worth.
The problem with exponential growth and constant change is that you can’t tell if something is a flash in the pan or a long term trend.
It seems likely that people will continue to use communication networks to socialise, but that they will become less tied to a particular social networking website, given the systems produced by companies like Plaxo, which (if their guff is to be believed ) allows you to integrate stuff belonging to you and your friend’s from other social networks into one area.