We’ve seen that the social media crowd is fickle.

One year the hottest thing around is LiveJournal, next it’s MySpace, next it’s Friendster.

Considering the fact that most of you reading just now scoffed to think that anyone uses any of those platforms anymore, it’s not surprising that there were predictions that Facebook would lose momentum after a year or so as social media fans found other outlets.

Not so. Facebook has actually been increasing in popularity and its users show no sign of intending to go elsewhere. Many attribute this staying power to the fact that Facebook has actually encouraged its potential rivals to use its own platform to talk to new customers.

Third-party software developers work with Facebook instead of creating rival sites, which means that the latest, hottest thing can live and die on Facebook without actually risking the larger platform losing its popularity. There’s always something new and hot to get interested in.

It’s possible Facebook shot itself in the foot with the introduction of Facebook Connect, though. This development lets outside sites become “partners,” which means visitors can log in with their Facebook username and interact with their Facebook friends when they’re no longer on the Facebook site.

It’s one thing when rivals work on Facebook, but it could be extremely risky to chance Facebook showing up on rival platforms. With so many other ways to interact with their favorite Facebook features, will users decide they no longer need to show up on the official Facebook site?