At some point toward the end of 2017.....I believe (just my humble guess) that some slight hint will be made by Facebook that numbers, advertising, clicks....are lessening...over Germany.
As much as the German bureaucracy and intellectual strength want to "fix" Facebook, I think they will do enough damage that some people will see Facebook as Myspace.
Ten years ago....Myspace was the dominate social media platform. Kids used it.....college kids were users....and adults were starting to drift into it.
Myspace came alive in 2003, and took off. By 2005....they were bought by News Corp and figured to be safely in place. The junior guys on the block (Facebook)? They didn't come around until late fall of 2006. If you ask most people....the junior guys (Facebook) only required eighteen months to dislodge the "giant" (Myspace), and the rest is history.
What happened? There are different versions.
I worked in a tech office in this 2008/2009 period. Most of the younger kids were pro-MySpace because you could download and share pictures or tunes. The techie folks didn't see a big need to comment back and forth (like Facebook and Twitter would provide). But these were simply the techie folks....not normal regular users. The normal users, by my belief, wanted communication without a lot of bells and whistles.
Some people will say that MySpace was developed without a lot of strategy. Their focus, at least in that 2005 to 2008 period was simply to connect users to some entertainment strategy. There was no multi-focus approach on differing ways.
Others will say that Facebook was a technology driven platform....needing just start-up funding and a little bit of patience.
But the thing is....all of this revolves around capitalism. Facebook, while pretending to be free and open....is handcuffed to making a profit via some method. It's attached to a business plan and it has a certain "script" that it has to go along....for profit to occur and the platform to survive.
So I keep looking at this long discussion in Germany and the EU over Facebook and how they "want" (manipulate would fit too) Facebook to function within their guidelines. The thing is....Facebook has to fit a user strategy and have a profit element to it. If any part of Facebook's platform is drawn into a questionable strategy....whether morally right or politically conceived, then users will vacate as they did with MySpace.
Across the globe today....it's fairly safe to say that MySpace survives with roughly 50-million active users. Facebook? With active users....1.8 billion. MySpace is still the platform for users with entertainment, movie clips, or songs as their priority.
MySpace? It's surviving with less than 200 employees today. If you were betting on things....it's hard to see them still around in a decade.
If Germany and the EU go forward with their control play, my guess is that user numbers will peak in 2017, and shift to lesser numbers by the end of the year.
Somewhere in the balance of things....Facebook will become less of a tool of communication...mostly because of this continuing debate on fake news and the developed tools to make the Germans happy. Less clicks equal less profit. Less profit leads to questions.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I suspect in five years.....people will be standing there and asking....how did fake news damage Facebook enough that it lost it's mojo and stepped back toward the shadows of MySpace.