March 24, 2023

Teens and young adults—those who belong to Gen Z—do not “friend” much on Facebook these days, and certainly not as quickly as millennials or Gen Xers. Pew Research Center study When it comes to teens, technology and social media, only about 32 percent of 13-17-year-olds in the U.S. now regularly use social networks, starting last month.

That’s a significant drop from a 2014-2015 study that found 71 percent of teens use Facebook, beating rival platforms including Instagram and Snapchat.

“Several issues have contributed to this, including recent high-profile ethical and privacy concerns, increased competition from new platforms such as Tiktok, and apps that are considered parents and grandparents of teens,” explainedDr. Dustin York Associate Professor of Communication Maryville University.

“What kind of teen wants to wear the same clothes as their parents, listen to the same music as their parents, or now, want to socialize on the same app as their parents,” York points out.

This shift is actually not surprising.

Teen users of the Facebook app in the U.S. have been steadily declining in recent years, and even by 2021, Facebook expects that number to drop by as much as 45% over the next two years.

with the old

In short, Facebook is largely seen as a likely platform for Gen X or Baby Boomer parents. As a result, social networks have slowly but surely lost the appeal of younger generations. Over the past decade, however, Facebook has wisely expanded its reach.

“Facebook’s parent company, Meta, still has 62 percent of teens using Instagram,” York continued, while further noting that the social platform risks seeing daily user numbers drop in one of its most lucrative advertising markets. Buying Instagram ensures that Meta gets eyeballs, just on a different network.

This is similar to how large multinational companies position different products for different consumers.

“Brand architecture is the process companies use to attract different types of customers through different brands, thereby increasing the stock value of the parent company. The same parent company that sells a $20,000 Volkswagen Jetta also sells a $500,000 Lamborghini Aventador — both are Profitable,” York said.

Facebook may now risk losing Gen Z entirely in the coming years, but it will remain a viable platform for tens of millions of older Americans.

Re-friend with Facebook

However, York said Meta may not simply age Facebook and eventually see its user base go extinct. Instead, the company may make moves in the future to reinvent Facebook as a “cool place” for younger users — even if those aren’t Gen Z.

“Facebook could make significant ethical structural changes and go on a privacy PR journey,” York suggested. “They can implement the social features teens love, like more entertainment-based algorithms and more small private group communication. But even then, Facebook needs the magic of time to make old stuff cool again. I look around my college classrooms And ’90s fashion is back: low-rise baggy jeans and oversized shirts. Maybe Facebook has a chance to work with Generation Alpha.”

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