When it comes to social media giants, there’s no bigger name than Facebook, and for a good reason – as of March 2018, there were 1.45 billion active daily users on the site. This is the type of universality that Facebook aims for – the network’s mission is to bring the world together while fostering a sense of community amongst users, no matter how far apart they live.
Despite all this, Facebook is losing its luster with younger generations. Their lack of interest could eventually cause the site’s downfall – who will use it in the future if they’re already giving up on it?
Of course, those born between 1995 and 2010 have their reasons for avoiding the site – and here are three of them.
It’s Not as Cool Anymore
When it first appeared on the social media scene, Facebook was the coolest website out there. It began as a place for college students to connect with one another – you couldn’t even create a profile without a university-affiliated email address. Now, though, it’s open to the entire world, which has turned off the younger people who aren’t creating accounts.
They don’t think Facebook is cool because it’s so universal – their parents and grandparents are using it, after all.
It’s Not as Private
Although they’ve grown up with the Internet at their fingertips, today’s teens and early 20-somethings have learned the best way to control their online personalities – by avoiding social media sites like Facebook where their posts live forever.
According to Euromonitor’s income and expenditure manager, An Hodgson, who spoke to Business Insider, “Members of Generation Z are tech-savvy, pragmatic, open-minded, individualistic – but also socially responsible.”
For that reason, they’ve made it clear that their preferences lie on other social media platforms, such as Snapchat, where sent images disappear within seconds. Other leading consumer behavior experts and surveys have revealed similar tendencies. Even though 45 percent of teens told Pew Research Center they were online “almost constantly” in a 2018 poll, they chose sites like Snapchat and YouTube over Facebook.
Teens Have Mixed Feelings About Social Media
The same survey revealed teens have mixed feelings when it comes to sharing tidbits of their lives online. When asked how they felt about social media, 31 percent said it was a mostly positive pastime, while 45 percent said it was neither a good or bad thing. The remaining 24 percent considered it a detrimental addition to their lives.
For their generation, they had a good reason as to why they didn’t like leading online lives. For example, some kids their age have used online platforms for malicious purposes, such as spreading rumors or bullying classmates.
Although others did feel as though social media kept them connected to loved ones, there’s some discord amongst teens as to whether they even like social media at all – let alone Facebook, in particular.
What Happens Next?
It’s safe to assume Facebook isn’t going anywhere any time soon with a user base of more than one billion. However, the future of the site could eventually be in limbo if less and less young people create accounts.
Although it might be hard to imagine a world without Facebook, think about the social media sites before it — for example, MySpace reigned supreme at one time, too, but very quickly fell out of public favor when more platforms emerged.
Only time will tell if Facebook will come up with ways to court younger users who prefer a less permanent online presence. For now, though, the company is not making many moves to draw in teens and early 20-somethings.