During 2006 web services really started to make headway. Sites such as YouTube allowing easily shareable videos, Flickr which makes uploading and sharing photos simple, Blogger.com, Efx2.com and various other sites providing easily managed blogging solutions which when combined with third party plug ins allow a user to have a powerful, free hosting solution. In fact the sites mentioned above are all free.
Sites such as FileUpload, MegaShares, Gigasize, YouSendit ect which allow users to upload or transfer large files across the net to users. Something that could easily be done by purchasing a domain and using the FTP storage space. But the solutions above are free.
My question to all of you running hosting companies, is how do you plan on positioning your products and services to compete with sites such as those listed above which provide the services that have typically been involved with hosting accounts but are now being provided by these providers for free. In fact if you were to use a number of different sites such as Flickr for Photos, YouTube for Videos, Sites for transferring files, Your ISP for an email address, Blogging site to provide you a home on the web, you could pretty much have a very powerful solution to do everything a hosted site could do but for free.
Hope this all sort of makes sense. I'd just like to know if these web 2.0 type services are placing any sort of burden onto web hosting companies in general or if they really have no impact on the industry.
The simple answer is that within 2 years, the personal hosting market, will have shrunk even more, But the buisness market will still grow, and so will VPS and Dedicated markets. Forums also need dedicated servers.
Free services are likely to disappear, I mean YouTube never made money, and things like that will be scaled back due to copyright matters, So hosting companies will still be around, but one market will get smaller while 3 others get larger.