Charlene Li has a great post, The future of social networks: Social networks will be like air which I feel is the best commentary regarding the future of social networking online. A little from there:
I believe that in the future, social networks will be like air. They will be anywhere and everywhere we need and want them to be. And also, without that social context in our connected lives, we won’t really feel like we are truly living and alive, just as without sufficient air, we won’t really be able to breathe deeply.
There are four components of what I’m calling this idea of “ubiquitous social networks”: 1) Profiles; 2) Relationships; 3) Activities; and 4) Business models.
She specifies four big elements for the future:
- universal identities
- a single social graph
- social context for activities
- a business model where social influence defines marketing value
I feel this is the best work I've seen on the subject.