I had a strange moment last week that helped me realize that Facebook — the social media platform I’ve used for more than a decade — is about to go extinct. The platform is losing market share, fast, among young users.
There are many theories behind Facebook’s fall from grace among millennials: an influx of older users that change the dynamics of the platform, competition from more mobile and visual-friendly platforms like Instagram, Tiktok, and Snapchat, and the company’s privacy scandals are just a few. More and more people are cutting the blue cord, especially after watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix.
In 2017, 67 percent of the total US population over the age of 12 used Facebook, the data says. In 2018, that number dropped to 62 percent, and then it dropped again, to 61 percent, in 2019. That comes out to an estimated 172 million current users, according to Edison Research. Meanwhile, among users aged 55 and up, Facebook use increased from 49 percent in 2017 and 2018 to 53 percent in 2019. This could also be one of the reasons for the drop in Gen Z users, that more aged people are using Facebook as their parents and grandparents.
The slowdown also doesn’t seem to have affected Facebook’s revenue, which was up to $21.4 billion for the quarter, an increase of 22 percent from last year and better than analyst expectations for the company. Facebook reported more than $18 billion in ad revenue. The small number of people who delete Facebook is not going to change Facebook’s economic model anytime soon. But the future may see the company testing the limits of engagement with social media platforms.
Frankly speaking, I use Facebook to check Birthdays, browse through listings in the group, or even check the marketplace sometimes. I am sure most people are just doing the same. Recently Facebook revamped its Website UI. Apart from visual flaws, the new design is disappointing in terms of functionality as well. Some of the previous features are missing in the new Facebook or are yet to be implemented. Hence people have mixed opinions on the new user interface. Finally, Facebook is far from dead and the data shows it.