The classic case of developer-turned-spoiled-and-lazy happens all too often. A great, original idea arises out of the sea of chaos that is the internet, and it gets huge. Like, worth billions huge. That service reigns as the supreme being in that market for years, and it gets to the point where people no longer refer to the type of service, they just refer to the company that perfected it. For instance: People say “Google it.” not, “Look it up.”. But then that company gets spoiled. “Nobody can touch us”, they think… then their service’s quality goes to the dumps.
In this article, I take the top 3 best examples of this all too common situation, and attempt to put together a list that will have you nodding your head in agreement. Keep in mind that this is in my opinion.
This is an obvious one. Facebook isn’t just declining in popularity because high schoolers don’t consider it “cool” anymore because their parents are on it. The actual quality of the website has deteriorated drastically over the past year or two. New features added on have had mixed feedback, and the website itself doesn’t follow new design trends. The website feels like something out of 5 years ago (which is fitting).
In fact, when you really consider it, MySpace absolutely feels more modern than Facebook. That’s because the public’s sudden rejection of MySpace a few years ago caused the developers of MySpace to snap out of it, and start putting a lot more actual work towards attracting new users.
The developers of Facebook, on the other hand, haven’t been doing anything themselves to attract new customers, they’ve just been relying on the “cool factor”, and now that after so many years, that’s wearing off, they’re in deep trouble.
While the other things on this list do still have their fans, Steam is the one service on this list that everybody has unanimously agreed that nobody likes.
To start things off, in a lot of situations, it’s impossible to create an account. If you do something wrong in the account creation process, for instance try to use a username that’s already taken, or re-type your password wrong, Steam doesn’t tell you that. It just says it wasn’t able to create your account.
Even when you do do everything right, Steam’s own server problems keep you from creating an account a lot of the time.
When you’re finally able to get a login for yourself (however long that takes), the software itself feels… rusty. It’s slow in everything it does if you have a low end computer (which shouldn’t be the case considering the extremely low system requirements), you can’t play a lot of games without having the latest version (which in a lot of cases take forever to download), and the software isn’t exactly bug free.
But alas, if you’re going to be a PC gamer, and you’re going to be gaming a lot, Steam is necessary. A lot of games have a lot of features (most notably multiplayer on a lot of them) that are only accessible with a Steam account, and on some, you need to have a Steam account just to play them.
Steam is the perfect example of a service a lot of people have to use, yet nobody likes. But it doesn’t affect quite enough people to be eligible for a number one spot on this list. That would go to another service.
YouTube was the video sharing website back in the day. Seriously, anybody under 30 and even some people older can agree with me on this: 90% of nostalgia from activities on the Internet lie within this legendary website. And a lot of people don’t want to admit YouTube’s recent decline in quality because of that. But a lot more have begun to realize how quickly YouTube is going downhill. I’ve been watching videos on YouTube since around 2010, give or take a few months, and I’ve been making videos since April 2012. I can probably count the number of positive changes I’ve seen made to YouTube on one hand. I’m not exactly a YouTube veteran, but still, less than 5 good major changes in 4 years is not good, especially when compared to the much higher count of negative ones. Since content creators on YouTube are getting paid (which is absolutely not a bad thing), not a lot of quality content is appearing on other sites that isn’t also being posted to YouTube. That’s because content creators are continuing to deal with YouTube as long as the vast majority of viewers are on YouTube. Why are the vast majority of loyal viewers on YouTube? Because all of the quality content creators are there.
So we’re kind of stuck using YouTube for now. But if YouTube, (or I should say Google, as the initial promise of Google not ruining YouTube has obviously been broken) doesn’t get their act together, we could eventually see the sudden mass movement of creators and consumers from YouTube to another website similar to the movement from MySpace to Facebook in the late 2000’s, leaving Google scrambling to implement futile efforts to win back customers, while watching YouTube become a laughing stock.
But wait. This article has been kind of negative. While the developers behind the services listed have undoubtedly gotten lazy to a certain extent, they still currently possess the closest thing possible to a legal monopoly. They still have plenty of time to come to their senses and fix their products, keeping themselves on top for at least another few years. Let’s just see if they realize what’s happening to their products and actually start doing that.
Justin loves all tech. Currently he uses a Nokia Lumia 520 and a Nexus 7. You can follow him on Google+ and Twitter for more.