Facebook Fadeout?

A basic law of gravity says that what goes up must come down and I suppose those laws apply to social sites as well. Witness MySpace, Zynga, and others. Now I don’t believe that social media is going anywhere. It’s become too important a communications channel and too ingrained into people’s lives. However, I do think that which social sites are the focus of social activity will continue to be an ever-changing landscape, particularly among the young and among early adopters.

I see far less activity on Facebook from my younger friends (by young I mean under 30 and under 25 in a number of cases) than I do on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and other places.  You might have heard about the Piper Jaffray report stating, as TechCrunch reported,

that interest in Facebook seems to be declining heavily among teens. Though teens still dub Facebook their most important social network, Piper Jaffray reports that the numbers are down regarding how many teens see Facebook as the most important social media website.

What it more interesting to me is the report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that found that even though 94 percent of teenage social media users still have Facebook, more and more are jumping ship to Twitter and Instagram because of what Pew found as “increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama.’”

Then there are brands who are trying to tap into that audience.  As usual, marketers tend to be their own worst enemies:

Retailers that push fewer posts, but better and more targeted ones, are gaining an edge over those that pursue volume when it comes to publishing Facebook content, new data suggests.

The 50 Social Retail Report from enterprise social media management company Expion analyzed 16,000 posts for the top 50 retail brands as designated by Interbrand. It found that as a whole, fan engagement and volume decreased for retail brands on Facebook, despite their increases in published posts – implying a need for more thoughtful earned and paid media strategies on the platform.

As we’ve discussed before, there really is something to be gained from listening and engaging rather than yelling and spamming.  Quality is demonstrably better than quantity.

All these reports tie together in my mind.  No matter how big a social site is, there are those who become bored and who move on to the next thing.  It’s like the old Yogi Berra quote about a place being too popular so no one goes there anymore.   Kids don’t want to be hanging out in cyberspace with their parents (or teachers or old guys like me!).  They don’t want to be deluged by massive amounts of marketing jetsam.  Is Facebook dying?  No.  But if you’re putting your marketing eggs in that basket in an attempt to reach the younger demo, you might be.


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