STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Could This be the Beginning of the End for Facebook?
By Joe Jarvis - August 22, 2017

“Facebook is for old people,” I was told by a 17-year-old last week in San Francisco at the Startup Societies Summit.

He doesn’t use the social media platform. He’s right too. About half a million fewer teens aged 12-17 will use Facebook this year compared to last year.

Facebook depends on older people for its advertising revenue. But it needs to get users while they are young in order to keep them coming back to the social media website when they are older.

Facebook may be busy cooking up ways to attract the younger crowd, but they will inevitably fail at doing so. It is too late. If I am being told by a teenager that Facebook is for old people, the company probably suffers from an insurmountable branding problem among teens.

If parents are on Facebook, kids aren’t interested.

It’s not time to dig Facebook’s grave just yet.

Instagram is the preferred alternative to Facebook among youngsters. And Facebook owns Instagram.

But Facebook and Instagram are totally different platforms. On Instagram, you share pictures. Sure, you can write a caption and use some hashtags. And plenty of people still share memes. But it is not the personal information clearinghouse that Facebook is… or was.

Facebook is struggling with how to get people to share more personal things on their website. That was the main feature for a while, and probably what made Facebook popular. But now people are moving towards sharing more images, memes, and videos… things you can do on Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat.

Ironically Facebook’s attempts to compete with other platforms helped depersonalize it. The engagement which made it popular is in the process of evaporating.

…sharing of original, personal content on Facebook declined by 21% between mid-2014 and mid-2015, and by 15% between April 2015 and April 2016, according to the Information.

Facebook addressed this decline in the sharing of personal content as “context collapse.” As users’ networks ballooned and their feeds became crowded with an ever growing pool of links and multimedia content from brands, who could blame them for not sharing? What’s the point of writing on a friend’s Timeline or posting a status update when it won’t be seen?

For me, Facebook is basically just a directory. People I have met and want to network with are added as friends, and then if I need to contact them, I can always send them a Facebook message.

It is also considered necessary to have Facebook pages for businesses or websites. This just adds to the impersonal feeling. People are seeing Facebook as more of an advertising machine, and less as an online social club. They are seeing more news–sure sometimes with their friends’ terrible opinions thrown in–and less about how their friends are feeling.

Facebook needs to know how you are feeling… it is how they advertise to you.

And this highlights why owning Instagram might not be enough for Facebook’s business model. Yes, they will still be alive as a company. But being alive isn’t the same as being an advertising powerhouse.

The reason Facebook is such a good way to advertise is because of the data. They know your “likes” and dislikes. They know what time you are most likely to click, and when you just want to be shown a cute cat video.

In Zuckerberg’s quest for world domination, Instagram just cannot deliver.

Facebook is in the power game by manupulating emotions, and making you feel a certain way. Facebook actually performed a study which manipulated the emotions of over 600,000 users in January 2012. For a week, they showed some people only negative news and status updates, and others only positive stories.

What the targetted users went on to post corresponded with whether or not they were being shown negative or positive things. They even were more likely to post emotional status updates when shown friends’ emotional updates. When they were shown mundane, boring posts, they were more likely to refrain from posting at all.

Facebook basically demonstrated that they can shape your worldview based on the information they throw into your feed.

But Instagram is different. On Instagram, you don’t have “friends.” You can follow someone, and they can follow you back. But they don’t have to. You can have one way follows. And it isn’t that easy for the other person to tell if you follow them, except at the very beginning, or by tediously looking through their follow list.

Sure, Instagram could serve up, or withhold certain images. But it is easy to unfollow friends who are posting stupid political memes without them ever knowing. People want to see beautiful places, architecture, animals, and pictures of friends.

It is a photo platform. Most of the time I don’t even read the description. Most of the time I scroll right past an image with words on it. Yes, they are still going to advertise to me, but my brain immediately recognizes it as an advertisement. They can only go so far without taking me out of the experience. In Facebook, that is all part of the experience, and it is relatively seamless.

So is Facebook going the way of the dinosaurs?

Probably not anytime soon. But I would be surprised if their influence didn’t shrink significantly over the next decade. They are not immune to industry disruption.

Even mighty behemoths of companies are not as safe as they might think. Remember MySpace?

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Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • Rosicrucian32

    So NO to social media. It is forging the minds of hamsters. Have conversations, look people in the eye.

    • Bombaste Von Hohenheim

      Problem is their eyes are blurry from looking @ their fb page…. and they’re empty, like the eyes of dead fishes laying on ice @ the supermarket

    • john cummins

      FakeBook has been good to connect people with common interests in F2F, real life settings, at least for me, but I’m sure other apps can do it as well.

  • David Roper

    Youngsters Snapchat instead of FB

  • Facebook is also atrocious in how it deals with its advertisers. They want advertisers to post to a forum if they have an issue instead of handling it themselves. Who ever heard of such a thing!?!

    • john cummins

      Plus FakeBook has always had horrible, despicable default settings.

  • Nexusfast123

    It’s a centralising, monolithic and frivolous service that will go into decline. Decentralised community models will gain traction.

    • autonomous

      Hoe that isn’t wishful thinking.

  • SnakePlissken

    Facebook was funded by the CIA. Don’t believe me, Google it.

    • john cummins

      as is google

  • john cummins

    Yes, I do remember MySpace because when those kids graduated from HS they basically created FB and MySpace disappeared, and rapidly. FakeBook is the AOL and MySpace of the past, honestly it’s part of the LameStream Dinosaur media, going extinct. We get trapped in these Internet Ghettos if we aren’t careful. Yes, they are “necessary” for a while longer, but we need to rapidly find the new and better places. The lack of flexibility of LameStreamers mentality will always drive them to extinction.

  • spoint

    Die FB – die. A social media by sociopaths for sociopaths.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    May Bitcoin and the crypto fad follow along this FB prediction. Both are connected to globalist fantasies and want their user to sell his soul.

  • georgesilver

    “People want to see beautiful places, architecture, animals, and pictures of friends.”

    Vacuous people to be avoided then?

    • autonomous

      Young people are naturally vacuous, as are those with limited knowledge and experience. The progressive educational establishment was designed to keep them vacuous. The realization that those who are ignorant of history are forced to repeat it does not dawn on the human mind until late middle age, if at all. Very few are still alive to whom “don’t trust anyone over thirty” hasn’t been inculcated.

  • Christan

    VR is the future

    • mary

      we’ve been hearing that nonsense for, what? 10 years. All this supposed “high tech wizardry” is not a natural market phenomenon. It’s technocracy, being shoved down our throats by the USG through their prostitutes in Silly Con Valley. Smart meters, self driving cars, uber, fakebook, google, amazon, all the listening devices connected to big brother including your spy phone–all courtesy of the USG.

      Read 1984 so you know what’s coming–a boot stomping on your face forever. The only thing that Orwell got wrong is that we’re so stupid that we pay for it and think it’s cool.

      • Christan

        I was speaking about the future of social media. Not the prison planet. You act as if it can’t be stopped. Just vote with your currency each day. Avoid the products you don’t like. Build some Independence from the system. Start a victory garden.

  • georgesilver

    Dear Daily Bell, Any chance that your editorial staff could do something on:-

    Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi

    Richard Nikolaus Eijiro, Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi[1] (November 16, 1894 – July 27, 1972) was an Austrian-Japanese politician, philosopher, and Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi. The pioneer of European integration

    THE COUDENHOVE-KALERGI PRIZE

    Angela Merkel 2010

    Van Rompuy 2012

    “The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today’s races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future,

    (The idea was an easily manipulated race of workers.)

    Instead of destroying European Jewry, Europe, against its own will, refined and educated this people into a future leader-nation through this artificial selection process.”

    (an Elite as ruling class the chosen people)

    These are Kalergi’s ideas not mine but they are being followed by the EU Elite. People might wonder why certain countries have been bombed thus creating millions of immigrants into the EU. Kalgeri wanted to break up all nation states of Europe and supplant the ‘white’ population.

  • Praetor

    Gen.Z is different than the millennials and boomers. Suckerburg is not one of them. The newness of technology will wear off.!!!

  • Eileen

    This has been true for sometime. A few years ago, the fastest growing demographic on FB was women 55-70 y.o wanting to share photos with their families.

  • Namma

    The Internet and Web were far better when there were numerous forums, bulletin boards and message boards on a myriad of different subjects and interests.

    This bizarre “need” of the few to “unify” communications so that they may pluck what they want from it is at fault.

    Equally bizarre is the zombie response of everyone who signed up for social engineering – oh sorry – social media and ditched their old communities signaling the downfall of many rich, living conversations that have disappeared except for some archive somewhere.

    Yes, board and forum owners would apply the ban hammer on abusive users. Not all communities are for all people. There are categories to all life and humans are selective – usually. Explains why you have so many flavors of drinking establishments.

    At any rate, back to topic, some saw ban hammers as a problem, but, with the new censorial “Ministry of Truth” ala 1984 playing out across social media, aren’t you missing that ban hammer lifestyle now?

    At least then you could post in the off-topic areas and still be heard. Now, not so much.

    Perhaps it’s past time to bring the original ways back and grow them into better platforms, eh?

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