Facebook’s not cool anymore. Not according to the gatekeepers of all things cool: kids and young adults. An independent study released by research firm eMarketer found that Facebook will lose 2 million users under the age of 25 this year. The research also found that less than half of Americans between 12 and 17 years old will use Facebook at least once a month in 2018.
Instead, these younger digital-savvy users are headed elsewhere. As Facebook bleeds younger users, Snapchat is expected to swoop them up. Snapchat will pick up 1.9 million users under the age of 25 this year, CNBC reports.
Facebook is still growing. But the users who are joining are older. What kid wants to hang out in the same place as their parents and grandparents?
Facebook still has far more users than Snapchat — almost double by some accounts. There’s also the possibility that as Snapchat’s user base continues to grow, it might start to lose its luster for your audiences. “The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer said in a statement. “That’s the predicament Facebook is in.”
Rough waters ahead for Facebook
This study was released on the same day as Wired published an epic exposé about Facebook’s tumultuous last two years. Describing the platform as a “confused, defensive social media giant,” the authors spoke with 51 current and former Facebook employees to provide an insider’s view about what’s happening inside the tech giant.
“The stories varied,” the Wired reporters write, “but most people told the same basic tale: of a company, and a CEO, whose techno-optimism has been crushed as they’ve learned the myriad ways their platform can be used for ill.”
Some early Facebook employees have decided to do something about it. Just last week, a group of former Silicon Valley executives and former Facebook and Google employees announced a coalition called the Center for Humane Technology. Lead by Tristan Harris, a designer who previously worked at Google, the group is bringing forth several initiatives that tackle our growing dependence on social media and technology. Using their insider knowledge about how these companies operate, they hope to raise awareness and push for more thoughtful, less-addicting technology.
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