Is Facebook Losing Its Touch With The Current Youth? Signs Point To "Most Definitely, Yes"

Facebook is a mega corporation that has seen nothing but continual success and growth since the late 2000's. Considered to be the quintessential online social hub, Facebook held an important hand in defining and shaping internet culture and etiquette. But does it really have that power anymore?

Facebook recently revealed its Q3 2021 report, showing nothing but impressive figures. Sales of VR headsets and smart glasses are flying high, the company has a collective 1.93 billion daily active users across all of its platforms, advertising revenue is doing well despite taking a hit from Apple's Tracking and Transparency features. However, there's a new angle to consider in Facebook's success story. One that is detached from the numerous controversies that surround the company today. No, we will not be referring to its privacy practices and data leaks. The matter that we're discussing is, surprisingly, one that Facebook hasn't really had to grapple with before: relevancy.

The social network was considered the face of online culture right up until the late 2010s. Then, a slow, sluggish change began to occur. The latest generation of kids, or Gen Z as they're referred to, slowly started straying away from Facebook, as reported by TheVerge. It's sister platform, Instagram, saw growth and success, and the social network itself wasn't really hurting for users. However, it also no longer dominated conversation and discourse, outside of daily controversies over monopolization and security. An article cited for Congress, linked below, even went on to state that Facebook was proving to be less enjoyable to the current youth because of its profile system being cluttered and unnecessary. Ironic: the exact thing that made Facebook what it is today is also now proving to be a driving force for its irrelevancy.

TikTok's a name we've heard a lot about nowadays, right? Keeps showing up, since everyone loves the platform, especially the youth. Well, Facebook's taken very direct notice of this as well. Data analyzed by the company reveals that teens spend 2-3 times more of their time on TikTok as opposed to Instagram. Instagram may not have lost its userbase, but it too is starting to lose its mojo. Instagram also directly ripped TikTok off to create its own Instagram Reels feature, allowing users to create short form content on the platform.

Researchers and analysts have constantly come to the conclusion that Facebook is losing its touch with younger generations. Data analyses reveal that the social network faces a projected loss of 45% of the US teenager demographic over 2020 and 2021. Teenage usage in the country already decreased by a notable 13% in 2019. Young adults between the ages of 20 and 30 are also projected to decrease their usage in the 2020 and 2021 period, although by a more manageable 4%. So, now we have users both growing out of Facebook, and a youth that never really took to it in the first place.

Source: Bloomberg

Facebook enjoys very lucrative business from the likes of India and Pakistan (TikTok is also banned in these countries, so that helps), but even this can't last forever. Such developing countries face, more than anything else, technological deficits that are being worked upon, thus explaining the influx of new users. Give 'em a decade and who knows? Maybe Facebook will lose profitability here as well.

Brazil, India, and the USA constitute tier zero of Facebook's hierarchy of protection. These are the best of the best, communities that the social network's security officials are willing to risk their online necks for. One of these countries is already displaying a losing level of interest in Facebook and what it does. How long until the other two countries catch on? Maybe Facebook's time isn't over yet, but this is exactly how the seeds towards future misfortune are planted.

Read next: Frances Haugen testifies with accusations and proofs against Facebook’s lack of security in front of the Committee in London
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