Facebook is facing dire warnings from Google evangelist Vint Cerf that its business model is leaving it exposed to becoming increasingly irrelevant – despite its current market dominance.
Cerf identified the “walled garden” architecture of the social network, where users are corralled into an isolated corner of the internet, as chief justification for his prognosis whilst speaking at an event organised by the Guardian.
Identifying IBM and AOL as examples of the failings of this model, Cerf stated that browsers do not wish to be “locked in” to only one brand of hardware or software.
Singling out Facebook, Cerf went on to say that Facebook would be overwhelmed by “a desire to interconnect” with other social networks – such as Google + which went public yesterday.
Cerf conceded that he had a Facebook page of his own but said that Facebook had begun blocking friend requests because too many people were trying to do the same thing.
Only after a conversation with Facebook’s chief operating officer was Cerf allowed to increase his friend count.
In contrast Twitter was singled out for praise as “you can put URLs [web addresses] in them, which lets you reach out into the gigantic expanse of the internet.”