Stop predicting the death of Facebook. Just stop already! It’s a ridiculous bandwagon that is ignorant and misguided.
Anyone who says “Facebook is dying” is a technological luddite. They might as well throw away their smartphone, unplug their TV, and spike a laptop on the sidewalk.
Facebook is far from dying. Mark Zuckerberg will ride that pony to the bank for $30+ billion every day. Yeah, that’s 30 followed by NINE more zeros.
Here are just a few reasons why Facebook is thriving:
Despite how much people complain (on Facebook no less) about change, Facebook is always mixing it up. Whether it’s the layout, “secret” algorithm, ads, photos, mobile app, whatever. Facebook is constantly in flux and making tweaks.
Last I checked dying companies don’t make multi-billion dollar acquisitions. Instagram and WhatsApp are just 2 examples of recent buys. Facebook recognizes apps and/or companies that do something better than Facebook. Instead of trying to beat a competitor at the game or reinvent the wheel, Facebook brings them into the fold and incorporates their wins into the Facebook platform/portfolio.
3. Audience (part 1)
It sounds counterintuitive, but after a certain point the bigger a number is the less the size impresses us. And context plays a significant role. You’re likely more excited to find $20 in the laundry than learning Facebook has 757 million daily active users. But to put it in perspective, that’s 10% of Earth’s population. Every day! How big is your audience?
4. Audience (part 2)
Studies claim young people (high school and college) are leaving Facebook. Checkout the red squares on this spiffy graphic comparing 2011 users to 2014 users for the month of January. Now, the youth demographic is important to marketers, but what these studies fail to account for is that people in the demographics change with age. Notice that college alumni users almost doubled in the same timeframe. And another thing, as a 30-year-old married dude with 3 kids and an MBA, my buying power is significantly higher than a college student.
Interesting factoid: Facebook grew (an antonym to “dying”) by 45,000,000 users from January 2011 to January 2014.
Yeah, Facebook is “dying” alright.
(Sidebar: statistics seem more of an art than a science. I recognize data may differ from analyst to analyst.)
Facebook is everywhere. It’s integrated into apps, games, software logins, TV, events, blog comments, etc. Facebook is like a spiderweb of connections across multiple digital and tangible platforms. You might rarely log into Facebook, but you’ve probably used it to login or interact somewhere else.
Facebook is not MySpace anymore than it is LinkedIn, eHarmony, or Twitter. There’s a persuasive video going around predicting Facebook’s doom and comparing it to YouTube. Here’s the thing: Facebook is not YouTube. Not even close. People visit YouTube purely for consumption; whether it’s educational or for entertainment. Content creators on YouTube only get compensated if they create something epic that goes viral, while Google (who owns YouTube) makes their money on ads. Google watches the dollar signs roll by as millions of people laugh at cat videos with ads in the sidebar.
Of course Facebook is going to charge brands (page owners) to pay for some engagement, it is Facebook’s platform. You don’t get mad at ESPN for requiring Nike pay big $ for ads during commercial breaks, do you? And if you see too many ads in your Facebook newsfeed, that’s actually your fault. If you “Like” a page, the probability of it ending up in your feed shoots through the roof. And Google, Bing, and Yahoo do the same thing when you search for stuff on the web.
If you think Facebook is “dying” you are wrong. If you don’t like Facebook or don’t want to be on Facebook, that’s totally fine. More power to you. It’s your choice.
If you don’t like that you can’t see updates from all your friends, change up your settings. And ask yourself this question: if you got an email for every single update from every single one of your “friends”, would you really read them all?
If you have a brand page on Facebook and engagement is down, learn how to adapt. The free engagement you’ve enjoyed thus far is a bonus. I doubt ESPN would give you free air time. Maybe you need to pay to boost a post (which is cheaper than lunch at Chipotle) or maybe you need to study best practices and change things up to succeed.
But I’ve got an MBA and work as a financial analyst so what do I know?