Om Malik on the recent movement away from Facebook’s centralized way of doing things:

You can see this cycle through the entire history of the commercial Internet. The original web was so sparse (but also so slow to navigate) that Yahoo was started as a guide of worthwhile sites because it wasn’t easy to flit among web pages. Yahoo’s directory proved popular, and sensing opportunity, the company added all sorts of new features: search, chat, email, stock tickers, sports, news, personals, e-commerce, and photos. By the late 1990s, Yahoo had become the grand aggregator, its pages as cluttered as a Canal Street stall. This created an opening for Google, with its bare-bones home page that held only a search box and company logo. With the rise of broadband, which made it easy to jump around, the web became disaggregated and brought with it focused, functional tools such as Skype and YouTube.

Fast-forward to today and replace ­Yahoo with Facebook. Facebook showed us the value of aggregating all of those small chunks of information, including photos and status updates, that we wanted to consume on the now dynamic and interactive web. That single string of updates, known as News Feed, was a brilliant product that powered the company’s rise from 2006 to 2011. Then along came Instagram and its peers, born for a generation that doesn’t know how to live without an always-on connection. They facilitate new online behaviors that have been invented for a world of touch and mobile. These apps were designed to be great at just one or two things. The tech world had swung back to being simple, lightweight, and fast—at precisely the same time that Facebook feeds were becoming so bloated and complicated.

Yep, it’s cyclical. And this is also why Facebook is now working to unbundle its own services, to distance itself from the cluttered mess it has become — before it’s too late.

This is really interesting because one of the best things — the core thing — about Tumblr is its refusal to specialize in any one media like photos or links or tracks or text or video. Sure, it’s great at photos, but its insistence on being a compendium of all these things… much like Facebook… is it’s strength and secret sauce.

I wonder how it will fare in this new decentralized world, if indeed the talking heads are to be believed. Also interesting is Twitter’s ongoing experiment to aggregate photos and text and (failed) music and video (w Vine)… it doesn’t fit neatly into this narrative of unbundling.

Tumblr is the new Gutenburg Press of communications. This is the future of how we write. Hopefully Yahoo won’t mess that up by making it suck. But, change is a constant and all good things must end.