Facebook facing a real teenager challenge
Facebook seems to be fossilizing even with frequent expensive new additions to the social networking platforms – but should Mark Zuckerberg be worried about the fact that Facebook teenagers are finding the platform boring as they continually look for excitement?
An estimated research carried out by eMarketer revealed that teenagers are leaving Facebook in droves – more than previously predicted for more teen-centric platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. (Recode, 2017)
The prediction is that teens from the age of 12 to 17 on Facebook will reduce by 3.4% in 2017 alone.
The research company also forecasts that users within the age range of 18-24-year-olds will grow more slowly than previously expected.
According to statista, the number of active Facebook users by July 2017 was 2 Billion with 9% been teens between the ages 13-17.
This puts the estimated number of active teens on Facebook globally at about 180 million.
Figure 1: (Age group of Facebook users globally, 2017)
On the flip side, Instagram currently has an active user base of about 700 million! These are big figures bearing in mind that Facebook controls both platforms.
Figure 2 (Global users of Instagram, 2017)
Our top 3 features for Facebook
- Facebook Events: Now this is one of the unique features on social media, the Facebook calendar that schedules all your upcoming events from your Mother’s birthday down to church group meetings. Let’s face it; at present, most people remember birthdays of friends and loved ones thanks to Facebook.
- Timeline: Facebook provides a timeline of your actual life! A scroll down your Facebook profile takes you down memory lane. Well, some people are grateful for memories whilst some are not.
- News Feed/Advertising: We had to cram both into one, however, this is a neat feature whereby all the latest talk and trends are live on your Facebook homepage, and this includes business advertisements that suit specific target markets. It is great for business and users altogether.
Our top 3 features for Instagram
- Insta direct: This feature allows you seemingly “retweet” posts but within the direct messages of a private conversation. For example, you can see a dress you would like to buy and easily send it to yourself or share it with a friend.
- Visual Sliders: This feature plays on the strength of Instagram which is ‘Visuals” Now you can share as many pictures of yourself or activity in one post. Before now you could only share one picture per post.
- Advertising: This has been incorporated from Facebook and actually works hand in hand whereby you can advertise your business or service using visuals (Pictures & Videos). What greater way to be convincing your target market?
Why the migration?
According to cheatsheet, it is said that young Americans do not trust Facebook, however, it may seem to be a situation of users not just seeing Facebook as being relevant to them anymore.
This may be due to the other “fun options” Facebook increasingly is being used as an advertising playground, and a means for parents to monitor their kids due to their familiarity with the platform.
An article by the verge simply puts a reason as Facebook having a strict policy on using real names and it being more difficult to change your networks on Facebook when compared to Snapchat and Instagram.
Facebook is supposed to be a thriving social networking platform but the most networked target group; the 12 – 17-year-olds are leaving the platform in droves.
Although this is supposedly bad news for Facebook – it demonstrates there is a gap in its market-share that needs filling. But Facebook will not be overly worried about the malaise and the migration from to Instagram as users are still being retained in real economic terms.
When Facebook owner, Zuckerberg decided to buy over Instagram many people could not understand the purchase. The sale has thus far proven to be a very effective one with the benefit of hindsight.
Snapchat, on the other hand, is growing exponentially and pulling in users from Facebook due to its fun-visual content. The app allows a faster mode of communication among users and their networks without the fear of an invasion of privacy.
Any cause for alarm?
There should not be any real concerns for Facebook in terms of the decline because naturally users are being segmented in terms of their use for the platform. The acquisition of Instagram by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 has turned out to be a brilliant move even though more research can be implemented into properly segmenting users and pandering to their needs on Facebook.