Twitter is likely to be overtaken by another microblogging service by 2012. Here's why:
- Twitter is perpetually plagued by downtime
- Twitter has a high burnout rate: Fewer than 20% of all Twitter accounts were active in December 2009
- A large proportion of Twitter-related activity involves no direct interaction with the site itself
- The model is easy to replicate
- The struggle between newbies (new users) and existing users creates a tension that no service can sustain forever
- Any service that becomes sufficiently mainstream fails to serve niche groups as well as targeted services, which inevitably attract them away
- History is already littered with other eclipsed services, like MySpace and Friendster
- Facebook fatigue is inevitable
- As more people learn to regret what they've shared, they will abandon Facebook, hoping that their deleted accounts will not come back to haunt them
- Google rose from creation to search-market dominance in search in ten years. Its second decade requires just as much innovation as its first, but with far less reward per incremental gain in market share. Upstart competitors have enormous incentive to capture even a single percentage point of Google's share.
- The nature of Internet content is so dynamic that the notion of accurate indexing is constantly under revision as well. Microblogs, video content, podcasts, and dynamic sites generating real-time data have already turned around much of what the ordinary user is searching for, compared with what that ordinary user might've searched for five or ten years ago.
- Google is pouring enormous amounts of resources into new avenues of business, including energy generation and its new mobile phone. This reveals that Google employees already realize that search dominance is perpetually under threat, and that the long-term health of the business requires other sources of revenue.
- The rush to mobile broadband access creates a new form of interaction between the user and their Internet access -- iPhone apps are a good example. The search engine portal is not necessarily the main point of entry to the Internet on a mobile device in the same way it is on the desktop.
- Switching from one search engine to another takes a single mouse click
- There's simply too much incentive for a competitor to create a better search platform
- Consumer wariness of Google's broad reach is already reaching the mainstream of popular culture