The official foundation date of Facebook is listed as February 4th 2004, meaning the social media websites 10th birthday will soon be here. And it’s growth in that decade has been spectacular.
But now a study has been published titled “The Global Social Media Impact Study” which says young people now see the service as uncool and dislike that their parents using it. As a result they are spending more time using rival services such as Snapchat and Whatsapp.
The study focused on teenagers aged 16-18 and found that that Facebook use was in sharp decline amongst that age group.
Daniel Miller from the University College London, who was leading the research team in the study, wrote in a blog post that:
“For this group Facebook is not just falling, it is basically dead, finished, kaput, over.”
However this is a company that in May 2013 joined the Fortune 500 list. And in November reported their Q3 results showing over $2 billion in revenue, and they also included very impressive operational highlights such as:
- 728 million daily active users.
- 1.19 billion monthly active users.
Those statistics sure don’t suggest a website that is “dead and buried”. And if it is to this particular age group then it looks Facebook can just about hang on to survival without them.
The Shift Is Occurring
For a while it has felt like we are seeing a shift in the way Facebook is used. The usage by myself and my friends has certainly declined (we are the mid to late 20’s age group) over recent times. Possibly accentuated by the growth of Snapchat and Whatsapp. So this study isn’t a huge surprise, but perhaps the strength of the wording behind it is a surprise.
What we are seeing then could simply be a maturity of Facebook. The explosive growth curve could be starting to lose its steepness. Having been in existence for a decade it is no longer a new thing, no longer something interesting. For most of us it is just part of our regular lives.
No doubt Facebook faces challenges from its social media rivals. Added with the weight of needing to generate high revenue to satisfy it’s hungry shareholders. These certainly present challenges for Zuckerberg and his co-workers.
But with Facebook having access to bundles of cash, and a massive user base, I wouldn’t be predicting a dramatic fall any time soon. They may have recently had a $3 billion offer (allegedly) turned down by Snapchat but this just shows the way the company are thinking and how they aim to stay at the top of the social media industry.