FACEBOOK USERS CONTINUE TO DECLINE AS TEENAGERS SWITCH TO OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS – During Facebook’s much publicised IPO a number of analysts predicted that Facebook had a shelf-life of between 5 and 8 years.
With continuous news of Facebook losing registered users to other social networks, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat, some are predicting that Facebook’s decline might be faster than first predicted.
According to some experts Facebook is rapidly losing its appeal to the teenage market as more move over to Whatsapp and Snapchat due to their parents having the ability to spy on their activities on Facebook.
In a recent European survey youngsters are now saying that they feel Facebook is ‘old hat’ and ‘dead and buried’ as they are no longer able to post ‘personal content’ without their parents knowing about it.
A social network expert from University College London wrote that ‘Facebook is simply not cool any more’; a remark that will no doubt resonate deeply within the offices of Facebook as they continue to see an exodus of users.
Professor Daniel Miller of University College London, one of the researchers working on the Global Social Medial Impact Study, told reporters that youngsters, especially teenagers, were simply too embarrassed to be even associated with Facebook and that the social network is only good for their parents and old people.
Some teenagers questioned noted that it is impossible to be young and free if you have your parents looking over your shoulder at every indiscretion and this simply makes Facebook a very ‘uncool’ place to hang out on.
A number of teenagers also stated that the most dreaded moments they have experienced on Facebook is when their parents sent them a ‘friend request’. Many stated that they tried to avoid or simply ignore the request and yet at the dinner table the parent would often question why they haven’t been added to their Facebook friends list.
According to researchers, Facebook is not dead-in-the-water just yet for many teenagers continue to stay connected in order to keep in touch with family and friends; especially those who have moved away from home to college or university.
The study concentrated on those in the EU and the social network behaviour of 16 to 18 year old’s over a period of 15 months and was funded by the EU.
The study uncovered a number of traits including those abandoning Facebook to those constantly changing their privacy settings; which is another growing concern from Facebook users as Facebook drives to monetize their systems even further from advertising.
Facebook certainly continues to dominate the social media networking scene but as new services come online offering greater privacy and more functionality Facebook will need to decide carefully the balance between monetization and user satisfaction; rarely do both complement one another.