By Sarah Mason, Account Coordinator & Office Manager
As newer social platforms rise in popularity, such as Snap and Instagram, many speculate that Facebook is on its way out.
Using Facebook when it launched was a very different experience than it is today. It used to be a place solely for photo sharing and status updates where it was easy to see what long-lost friends were doing with their days. Nowadays, the Facebook newsfeed features a viral video, an ad for something recently googled and trending news.
In late 2015, Facebook found itself struggling to maintain original posts by users. The response was two-fold: competitors gained an edge and Facebook rolled out new features (Facebook Live for all, Facebook Professional Services and more) to win back users.
Facebook straddles an unconventional line to stay in the mainstream spotlight but to also maintain an intimate nature. As the company has gone towards competing with professional services, it lost the intimacy that comes with picture sharing and status updates. It also lost its younger audience to other networking sites that encourage picture sharing, like Snap and Instagram.
Facebook saw this trend and purchased its budding rival Instagram in 2012 for $1B. Facebook also tried to buy Snap (called Snapchat at the time) for $3B in 2013. Instagram and Facebook are indirect competitors even though they are owned by the same company. They have a similar audience but offer a different platform.
When Facebook began losing original content, it had to figure out why and take action. The company recently released a product targeting children, “Messenger Kids“. It lets under-13s chat with those who parents approve. Not only is it the first feature of its kind, but an audience of young children will hopefully make Facebook trendy again among the next generation.
According to eMarketer, Snap and Instagram are attractive platforms for teens and young adults. Snap and Instagram are both picture sharing platforms; WeChat and WhatsApp are both messaging apps, and YouTube is used for sharing videos. These newer social media apps focus on individual features and when compared to Facebook, these apps are elementary when Facebook can combine all components into a single platform. According to itself, Facebook currently has more than 2 billion monthly active users, while according to Statista, Instagram has around 800 million active users and according to Omnicore Agency, Snap has around 300 million monthly active users.
So, is Facebook dying out? No, it’s not. It will be around for years to come.
How has your use of Facebook changed since it was launched? Leave a comment below or tweet us @LandisComm.
5 thoughts on “Is Facebook becoming Irrelevant?”
Facebook may be around for a while, but it isn’t cool anymore. And that coolness factor is important when you’re talking about the longevity of a social sharing platform. I think my friends (early 30s) would agree that Facebook has become the new MySpace…it’s cluttered and not really useful unless you are sharing baby pictures. It also lost a ton of credibility after all the “fake news” issues. Facebook needs to figure out what it is – is it something for kids i.e. the new Messenger Kids or a business tool? As far as keeping friends & family up-to-date on your life, platforms like Instagram and Snap have Facebook beat.
I agree. I see Facebook as the online diary, Instagram as a photo album that should be limited to only the most interesting and/or artistic photos and the other social media channels have their niches. Facebook’s advertising capabilities are the strongest. They just need to keep the balance of ensuring advertisers and posters are legitimate and relevant.
Sarah, good post. Being the 800 pound gorilla that Facebook is means it’s harder to be all things to all people. It will be interesting to see how Facebook evolves. Cheers, David
My use of FB certainly has changed this past year. I use it less for friends & family and more for group participation/discussion with people I’ve never met but share common interests.
Even though Facebook has become an all-encompassing tech giant, it seems to be slowly declining since it can’t be everything for everyone. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the social space as “the next big thing” tries to take over.
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