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Should social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter) merge?

While Facebook and Twitter have their differences, they also having many overlapping features. To constantly use both seems redundant. Every day, more and more companies and organizations are "jumping on the bandwagon" so to speak in order to engage consumers. Consider this:

"Join us on Facebook at..."
"Follow us on Twitter at..."
"Visit us at www ..."
"Watch us on YouTube at ...."
"Visit our Flickr page at...."

The list goes on and on, but what for? This is not only terribly redundant, but also confusing and unnecessary. When new social/media networks becomes mainstream, the list of websites will only grow further. In 15-20 years from now, I suspect most, if not all, of these services will merge into one.

When I say merge, I don't necessarily mean that one conglomerate will own all of them. I believe that a flexible, open framework (or API if you prefer) will inevitability emerge in order to reduce redundancy and increase organization across all platforms. Exactly how this will happen - and what it will look like - is something that only time will tell.


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    Feb 20 2011: What I hear you saying is "I don't want to keep making choices among different tools", but this is both the cost and the beauty of free markets. Your choices determine who wins and loses. Your frustration is a having to make choices on where you focus your attention, but that is the core of free markets.
    • Feb 20 2011: I agree, but that's not necessarily what I'm saying.

      You can almost imagine it as a high-level version of the HTTP protocol. What I'm suggesting is a standard rather than a stifling of competition. Nobody "owns" the HTTP protocol, yet each individual website has to follow that standard in order to be apart of the web. Just for clarification, I'm not talking about replacing the HTTP - rather building on top of it.
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        Feb 21 2011: Have a look at http://www.opensocial.org/ . I'm not necessarily advocating it just now, but it does seem to be a step towards what you are asking. I do use a couple of the proprietary platforms but don't like them because they are closed; I just use them because quite a few of my real friends use them far more than, say, email, so if I want to keep in touch I have to go inside those gated communities.
        If anyone has more information on just how open and useful the Open Social platform is, I'd like to know; I just haven't had time to look into it more.

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