Facebook is the new Yellow Pages.
Prediction: ten years from now, you won’t deal with Facebook unless you have to, you’ll involuntarily receive notifications even if you didn’t ask for them, and the only valid reason for keeping your account is because everyone has a page — so you can look up the reviews which you can’t find on Google or Reddit.
In other words, Facebook is going to be the new Yellow Pages.
To make sure everyone is on the same page, the Yellow Pages was a big yellow book that had every business — that paid — listed and indexed. And every year, a new volume of the book would show up, and you just had to deal with it just like an unprovoked notification from Facebook.
It was helpful if you needed a plumber, a locksmith, or a real estate agent. You’d look up the relevant category. There you go, a list of service providers, their contact details, and what they specialize in doing.
Facebook does all of these things. It even lists businesses that don’t pay them. I mean… If you want any exposure whatsoever outside of your fifty closest friends who follow your page out of kindness. Then you have to pay them advertising money. Nonetheless, if someone has your name and the determination, they can find you on the platform.
The small blue F has some features that even improve the Yellow Pages idea. In addition to all the other stuff, you can see a business’s recent posts and upcoming activities and even interact with the company or brand instantaneously.
Sadly that’s about it — so far as I can tell — these days, nobody wants to be on Facebook for fun. It’s become a forgetful place. Like Myspace, you’ll look back on your profile one day and reminisce, but you won’t keep it up to date. Why would you? Everyone’s over on Instagram or YouTube or Tik Tok. Or whatever comes next.
What comes next is a good question. In my view, it’s influencers. Platform agnostic thanks to the “be everywhere all the time” ADHD marketing methods promoted by… Well, by marketing influencers. The next trend in finding what you’re looking for will be to find an expert on the topic you’re interested in and go from there.
This is by no means a new idea, just like YouTube ads are the latest version of TV ads. Finding an expert is another example of an old concept “revolutionized” by ‘technology’.
Let’s not forget that businesses will still need to advertise. Telling new people about their services and pushing others along their purchasing pathways. The difference I’m describing is that instead of looking for a business name like you did in a Yellow Pages and that you already do on Facebook. When a business wants to advertise, it won’t take out a more prominent listing in the Pages or a more persistent placement from FB. Instead, you’ll pay someone with a decent following and the ability to present information to be your own home-shopping-channel-like representative.
I know influencers can have a pretty poor reputation, mainly thanks to the Kardashians and attention-seeking lunatics who try to swallow Cinnamon. When I say influencers, I’m talking about the long-form-thoroughly-researched YouTubers.
To be one of these creators. In your local area. That’s a job of the future. It’ll be like a news anchor but for solving problems and demonstrating how stuff works. Sure, you’ll need to keep your nose clean of scandals, but this type of creator’s future looks good, and the process doesn’t look too complicated either. Produce content, get better at it, do so consistently, build a following, partner with a consulting service provider, stay relevant, move onto the platform of the day, and repeat.
That’s my prediction for a world that’s addicted to being content and to being connected. Luckily we have an abundance of apps to cater to these cravings. I don’t see why Facebook Messenger won’t be around in ten years. Then again, I remember thinking the MSN Messenger was the single greatest thing ever, till everyone moved on and it wasn’t.