When social networking started to go mainstream, it seemed like it will go down the same path that search engine went after their juvenile phase. It seemed that Facebook will be the new Google of social networking and it will define what social media is and which direction it will head in.
But the market of social networking sites proved to be far more liberal. We had many niche sites and even competitors for Facebook in the form of Twitter, LinkedIn and the many other services that co-exist with Facebook and shape what social networking is today.
This nature of the market allowed for more room for innovation, complimenting or integrating with existing services rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, and a healthy environment where risk takers and start-ups can blossom.
Social media is currently a one-size-fit-all space in which people of all walks and interests share this space. Soon enough, with the advent of more customizable and private Social networks, people will start fragmenting while still wanting to maintain the public connection. Activists, obsessive hobbyists, and the like would favor the space where they can free front their identities and discuss their interests with like minded people. This will open the space for more secluded and niche social networks to spring up on platforms like Ning and grou.ps.