Facebook has 3 billion+ users, but younger still looking for another one

As per Facebook, it is still alive. As young people have been saying for years, the social media behemoth also wants you to know that it is not just for “old people.”

Now that TikTok, its main enemy, is under closer government inspection due to rising tensions between the US and China, Facebook may be able to portray itself as a strong domestic alternative.
One issue remains: adolescent adults like Devin Walsh have moved on.

“I can’t even recall when I last logged in. It must have been a long time ago, according to Walsh, 24, a Manhattan resident and public relations professional.

She instead visits Instagram, a platform that is also owned by Facebook’s parent corporation Meta, five or six times every day. Then, of course, there is TikTok, where she scrolls for roughly an hour every day while letting the algorithm discover things “I didn’t even know I was interested in”.

Walsh is unable to picture a scenario in which Facebook, which she joined when she was in sixth grade, returns to her daily life.

The branding, correct? Walsh used the Gen Z phrase for things that are absolutely not acceptable when he said, “When I think of Facebook, I think ugh, like cheugy, older people, like parents posting pictures of their kids, random status updates, and also people fighting about political issues.”

The social networking platform, which was once hip and was created before the iPhone, has been around for almost 20 years. Even while Facebook has partly faded into the background over time, for those who came of age around the time Mark Zuckerberg established the facebook.com from his Harvard dorm room in 2004, it has been inexorably baked into daily existence.

Facebook is up against a peculiar problem. Three billion people check it every month today. That amounts to more than one-third of all people on the planet. And every day, two billion people log in. After twenty years, it is still engaged in a fight for relevance and its future.
the keystone of culture.

It is unquestionably not the place to be for younger generations—those who joined in middle school or those who are currently in middle school. Without this influential group, Facebook, which is still Meta’s primary revenue stream, runs the risk of becoming uninteresting and merely functional, like email.
It wasn’t always this way. Facebook was the place to be, a cultural touchstone, a topic of a Hollywood film, and was frequently brought up in conversation and on late-night television for almost ten years. Rival MySpace, which had just recently begun, swiftly lost relevance as young people rushed to Facebook. The fact that MySpace was sold to stodgy old News Corp in 2005 did not improve its situation.

It was this strange mixture, No one understood how technology worked, yet we all had to learn how to code in order to have a MySpace. Moira Gaynor, 28, stated, “It was very distressing. Maybe that’s why Facebook became so popular. Since we had been fighting with MySpace for so long, it was this gorgeous, integrated, great interaction area that we really craved compared to MySpace.

Asserting his visionary credentials, Zuckerberg resisted the temptation to sell Facebook and led his organization through the mobile revolution. Facebook rose, seemingly unstoppable despite crises over user privacy and a failure to appropriately address hate speech and misinformation. While some rivals emerged—remember Orkut?—they generally fizzled out like Facebook did. In 2015, it attracted one billion users per day.

Although the number of younger users on the site has been declining, Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at Insider Intelligence who has been following Facebook since its inception, does not foresee it disappearing any time soon.

“I believe that what Mark developed while he was in college is a testament to what we are talking about with Facebook being 20 years old. It’s very amazing,” she remarked. It continues to be a very effective platform globally.

An aol.com email address is now little more than a punchline in a joke about technologically ignorant folks of a particular age. AOL was once powerful too, but its user base has aged.
In an interview with The Associated Press news service, Tom Alison, who currently acts as Facebook’s CEO (Mark Zuckerberg’s title is now Meta CEO), seemed upbeat about the platform’s strategies for attracting young adults.

“We used to have a team at Facebook that was focused on the younger cohorts, or maybe there was one or two projects that were dedicated to coming up with new ideas,” Alison added. “And about two years ago, we said no—our entire product line needs to change, evolve, and adapt to the needs of the young adults.”

The “social discovery” age is what he refers to.

“It’s heavily influenced by what we think the upcoming generation wants from social media. We want Facebook to be the site where you can connect with the people you know, the people you want to know, and the people that you should know, Alison remarked in a straightforward manner.

In this strategy, artificial intelligence (AI) is crucial. Facebook aims to leverage its potent technology to reclaim the hearts and eyes of young adults, just how TikTok uses its AI and algorithm to show people movies they did not know they wanted to see. Reels, the TikTok-like videos that users of Facebook and Instagram are inundated with when they sign into those two applications, are also crucial. And private messaging, of course.

According to Alison, “What we are seeing is that more people want to share reels and discuss reels, and we’re starting to integrate messaging features back into the app to once again allow Facebook to be a place where you can share and discuss those with people in addition to discovering great things that are relevant to you on the site.

Facebook regularly declines to provide user demographic information, which could provide insight into how well-liked it is among adolescent users. However, independent researchers report a drop in their population. The same is true for young people, but Facebook appears to have backed off from aggressively seeking out young people due to worries about the negative impact of social media on their mental health.

“Young people frequently influence the direction of communication. In a way, that’s how Facebook really took off: young people were drawn to it. And we observe it with essentially every social media network that has emerged since Facebook, said Williamson. According to Insider, approximately half of TikTok users this year are between the ages of 12 and 24.

Williamson does not anticipate this tendency to change, but she does point out that Insider’s projections only extend until 2026. Although it is gradual, there is a drop. As opposed to roughly 46 percent for TikTok and 42 percent for Instagram, the research firm anticipates that about 28 percent of US Facebook users will be between the ages of 18 and 34 in that year. The statistics for children aged 12 to 17 are more startling.

“I believe that moving away from being a social platform is the smartest thing they could do. As though they lost that. But hey, why not if they want to take over as the new Yellow Pages? Gaynor, a government employee who resides in San Diego, California, stated.

“I enjoy Marketplace a lot. My recent move is where I obtained the majority of my furnishings.

Source: The Associated Press

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