Is Facebook Over? Why Facebook Is Not Popular Anymore
Facebook was founded in 2004 as a social media platform for college students.
But soon it moved beyond campuses and swept the world with its ability to reconnect people in their own town or across the world.
Facebook ushered in a new era of social media, where people could post about important political movements or what they ate for dinner.
But has facebook run its course? Is it a victim of its own success?
According to Barbara E. Hernandez, many have been predicting Facebook's demise for years.
They cite the lack of interest by younger people and the new pay-to-promote ads and stories.
Hernandez contends that the evidence may be anecdotal, but many say that there is evidence of a larger trend of people leaving Facebook for various reasons.
Users Are Moving On
- First World Users Leaving
According to The Guardian, Facebook has lost 10 million United States users in the past year. Data from Nielsen also indicated that there was no increase in users from the United Kingdom.
Despite these losses, Facebook posted a first quarter profit for 2013.
Facebook's growth seems to be focused currently in poorer nations where advertising revenue is not as high. If the trend continues, Facebook's profit will decrease because advertisers will move on.
What Is Your Biggest Concern About Facebook?
- Teens Not Joining
Many teenagers are saying they are tired of Facebook. According to Victor Luckerson of Time Magazine, many younger users are finding the platform less useful in their lives due to the diversity of their experiences and their need to compartmentalize.
Having a separate social life, family life, and work life is harder when you have a Facebook acocunt. It's not easy to figure out how to share certain pictures with one group and not another.
So aunts, uncles, grandparents who would otherwise not be aware of certain activities. may now see party pictures that someone posts and tags of the Facebook user. These may be pictures the user does not wish to share.
But an even more prominent reason is teenager's preferences for mobile devices over PC.
- Smartphone Apps
Users are switching from PC to mobile devices and are looking for a platform that is more intuitive for that.
Apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp offer a more user friendly experience since the apps were designed for mobile devices. Snapchat also offers the appeal of leaving less of a social footprint than Facebook.
While Facebook does have a mobile app, many find the device less friendly and not as robust.
For example, the Facebook app lacks the ability to perform many functions that can be performed on a PC such as editing and deleting.
The Constant Changes
Anyone who has been on Facebook for any amount of time will tell you that changes seem to roll out often.
The changes cause frustration and confusion for many users and include new layouts, navigation, promotions, newsfeed and messaging alterations.
While Facebook has many reasons for their changes including competition for advertiser dollars, and competing with Twitter and Google+, the changes often come at the price of user anger and confusion.
The average user perceives the focus of Facebook shifting away from the user experience and towards focus on paid promotions and advertisements.
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One of the biggest recent Facebook changes has been paid-to-promote stories and using products or companies that users like to advertise to their friends.
These stories become part of a users newsfeed and can seem like posts from friends.
Advertisers can pay to promote products and services within the newsfeed, even making them appear to be recommended pages or articles from friends.
Changes also cause user settings to change. Posts that a users expects to be private or seen by a select group of people are suddenly broadcast to a much broader audience because of updated settings.
The changes and settings seem to be made hard to control on purpose in order to confuse the average user and trick them into making their posts more public.
Is Facebook Going Away Soon?
The short answer is no. Facebook will not be going away any time soon.
Even if it becomes less popular over time, there are millions of people who use the social platform on a daily basis.
Sam Laird notes that many analysts predict that Facebook will become irrelevant by 2020.
While lack of relevancy is different from extinction, Facebook's decline will leave room for the next big technology.
Facebook will likely exist, in some form for many decades to come. But its power and influence is changing and is likely to never again achieve the excitement and popularity it once had.
While Facebook may have helped to change the face of social networking, the very changes it helpled to usher in are now working against it.
As smart phone technology developed, users wanted to be able to take their social networking with them.
Facebook was slow to react and this made room for new apps specifically designed for mobile devices.
Facebook is unlikely to go away completely but many believe that the writing is on the wall.