It's the end of the web as we know it.
Luke Welling stashed this in The Web
Well written piece: http://adrianshort.co.uk/2011/09/25/its-the-end-of-the-web-as-we-know-it/
The flip side of course is that Facebook and its kind are crucial to the success of many new web ventures. How can a new venture get eyeballs from Facebook without signing on for indentured servitude?
I'm guessing you're not asking that question rhetorically.
Adrian Short's article can be summed up by this paragraph:
We give more power to Big Web companies with every tweet and page we post to their networks while hoping to get a bit of traffic and attention back for ourselves. The open web of free and independent websites has never looked so weak.
What we seek is a way to employ the Web to reach people without Facebook owning every gesture.
The straw men are create an independent information network (a la Twitter) or an independent content network (a la Tumblr) or an independent professional network (a la LinkedIn).
The key characteristics of these alternative networks is that they own their own communication, content, and/or connections outside Facebook, and each of them is rewarded by network effects.
The key question, then, is whether an OPEN network for communication, content, and connections, can be constructed. Email and Usenet are two examples that support this possibility; now the Web needs to figure out if it can have one, too.
We need a compelling new value-prop for normals that facebook can't easily copy.
When I put it like that it seems impossibly hard..