At a recent meeting we were talking about the reversal of fortunes for Twitter and Facebook and wondering why Google wasn't suffering as much.
It isn't about money because Twitter is shrinking in order to make more money. But the stuff that was exciting about Twitter, the way it acted as a conduit for other software, it was sort of a message operating system on a global scale, the exciting stuff is exactly what they're taking out to get to profitability.
Facebook is wilting because the thing that was lifting them up was their stock, and that's not working for them anymore. In fact it's working against them.
True, Google has multiple revenue flows, but I theorized that that isn't why they have a strong future. It's because they're open where Twitter is not. Think about it. I don't have to be vetted by anyone to be part of their search engine. No one says yay or nay, and there are no funny rules about stuff flowing in or out, or using their code to display search results. Google is fairly laissez-faire. All you have to do to be in their index is to put it on the web, and we all know the web is the platform with no platform vendor. Anyone can put stuff there.
I believe Twitter would have a much brighter future, Facebook too, if they trusted the web. If they let every bit of their service be replaced. That would force them to compete based on service, value and features. Now they get to be lazy and that's fine for a while. But the crazy chaos of the web will eventually do something exciting that you won't be able to match on Twitter. Had they been more trusting they would have guaranteed that whatever excitement comes along would automatically include them.
Google, on the other hand, has a better chance. It would be good for them if they were more open-minded about accepting formats and protocols from people who don't work for Google, but even with that inefficiency, they still have a pretty strong basis for continued growth.
And of course Amazon is the smartest of them all. They're automatically part of everything because they do everything to support and enhance the protocols of the Internet. They are very respectful of the web and choice. I can deploy my apps on Amazon if I want, but if Rackspace gives me a better deal, Amazon won't fight me. Same with Rackspace of course. This is the way we like it. :-)
Who did Apple bet on in this field? Twitter. They'll never get networking right, imho. (I am a very happy Apple shareholder, btw.)