The future of social media is anti-social media. That is, self-hosted content that only you own and that only you can take down.
I had this thought while sitting in on a marketing panel at WordCamp Jacksonville last month. We discussed using social media to market digital services, and it brought to mind a client of mine who has one of the largest Facebook pages in the world, but can claim only the login credentials for this page as an asset. The page itself is owned by Facebook, who reserves the right to take it down at any time—a fact which drastically diminishes the value of the page to potential buyers.
On Facebook, Twitter and Medium, you do not own your content. There is legally nothing stopping these companies from removing your profile, censoring your published materials, or acting in such a way as to skew and cloud your words.
Further, why do we need these companies? Except for ISPs, you don’t need any company to post content online. And posting your content on corporate-owned platforms, like Facebook, only means it’s less your own and more theirs. WordPress is a great alternative—open-source, shared code that enables you to easily publish online, but that does not permanently tie you into any network.
I’m convinced the future of social media is open-source, self-hosted. This is the next step in the decentralization of media. There is no reason why networking between proprietary domains can’t happen without massive companies like Facebook.