Most industries go through consolidation where smaller companies merge with others to get bigger or bigger gobble up smaller to expand. Web pioneers went through consolidation to form more sustainable enterprises. Sometimes consolidations did not work out so well in the long term. AOL comes to mind as an example.
It is inevitable that Web 2.0 will have similar consolidations.
Web 2.0 is in its infancy still in my opinion, but there are some large players with cash. My Space has the Fox bank behind it. Google is in position to be a player. Facebook has some power as well.
The current state of the economy could accelerate this trend. My Space was bold enough to state that those knocking on its door have cheaper asking prices. Yahoo is of course in play. Facebook was recently courting Twitter.
As cash will be tight for many start ups in the future with investments being closely monitored and advertising dollars in decline by cash strapped brands.
One thing is for certain social media will be interesting to watch and work with in the next year.