Have you ever considered what might be the next trend to die? Which aspect of your daily social life will just fade away? Just as disco, AIM, planking (which seems to have slowed down in popularity), and Myspace.com have all but dissipated, now Facebook is likely doomed to face a similar fate. As the new age of internet-goers show a disinterest in Facebook-ing, it is becoming apparent that other trends and newer social media tools will take its place in the near future. What am I even talking about you say?
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A recent report on Facebook popularity from Istrategylabs has yielded some interesting results. It is clear from the graph below that young people simply aren’t interested in Facebook staling anymore.
But what can we attribute to the decline in young Facebook users? Actually, a couple different events have occurred over the years that may lead us to an answer. In fact, as you scan over the chart to your left, you may realize what exactly has happened: Facebook has become completely accessible to everyone.
Originally, Facebook was meant to be a hub for college people to keep in touch, to find someone during or after college in hopes of changing their relationship status, to include yourself and others in events, to help keep up with best friends’ lives even after they left the safe confines of the dorm room. All this slowly morphed into much, much more: people now rely on Facebook for chatting, for daily inspiration, or for simply killing time. The age groups grew, the visitors and participants became younger/older, and everyone that knew how to use a computer slowly became a Facebook-er.
So what? Is everyone not entitled to freedom of speech and entertainment? That’s just it though. When you or someone you know joined Facebook they were probably still in college or had just finished college. Now they may be a parent of a child, and that child finds them (unfortunately) very uncool. They don’t get their parents’ lame humor and wish to be alone and unbothered when they are online. In comes the (still cool regardless what the child thinks) parent: ensuring their child is OK by befriending them on Facebook. They comment on life updates and statuses posted by their child, and restrict usage when their child gets out of line. And why not? That is what parents do. Their child is their responsibility and they will do anything to protect their child. As always though, children try to combat this by looking to other forms of entertainment, something the parents do not use, something that is only beginning to trend and takes time to adapt to. And so with younger generations Facebook is slowly becoming uncool because of its accessibility and ease of use.
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If you notice, even the media is to blame for Facebook’s decrease in popularity. You would be hard pressed not to find a twitter link nowadays that you can send your opinion to during news broadcasts. Not to mention the recent IPO (initial public offering) of Twitter, which was a huge success and to date has already surpassed the Facebook stock by 4 points. This shows that there is currently more of a vested interest in Twitter and its rising popularity, even in the stock market. With results like that, investors are all but begging for SnapChat to become a new stock on the stock market, which, like Twitter, is experiencing a rise in popularity and future potential among younger media users.
Did I mention Facebook owns Instagram? At least if Facebook dies, Instagram can be the next wave of income for Mark Zuckerberg. It’s almost as if he is trying to let us know what to trend next…
What should you take from all this? Will the king of social media be knocked off his horse? Or is this just another example of too many things at once distracting us from giving our full attention to any single entertainment vessel? If you consider all that the internet allows access to, all the different forms of entertainment that is readily available today: Wondergressive (of course), Twitter, Pintrest, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc.; Facebook simply gets lost in the long list of ways to occupy ourselves on the internet. So many, many, many distractions, and I will leave you with just one more! Below is a graph from investment banker Piper Jaffray depicting the popularity of social media sites among teens. Cheers!
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