Facebook Is Now Just for Old People

Photo: Peathegee Inc (Getty Images)

Do you remember the days when Facebook was all the rage among the young people? It appeared as the more serious alternative to MySpace and brought us one of the most amazing inventions since the wheel — live chat option. Within just a couple of years, Facebook became one of the most popular social platforms out there, leaving MySpace in a cloud of dust.

However, recent studies show that more and more young people are leaving Facebook. Reason? The fact that more and more old people (over 55) are joining every day and ruining the platform for the youngsters. Where do you belong?

According to eMarketer, a research company that analyzes these trends, around 700,000 UK youngsters will leave Facebook in 2018 and defect to one of its greatest competitors — Snapchat. On the other hand, users over 55 seem to be flocking more and more, becoming the second largest demographic on the platform. This is, however, not the first time that Facebook was threatened by another social network, grabbing all of the youth. Back in the day, Instagram also posed a huge threat to Facebook, but they found a simple way to avert the crisis — they bought Instagram in 2012 for around $1 billion.

Snapchat is a whole new adversary whose popularity increased drastically in these last three years and it’s unlikely to drop anytime soon.

So what’s the problem? Why is there such a generational shift on Facebook? Well, first of all, the platform doesn’t have a lot to offer the younger generations. Most of their users are the ones that have been there from the start and have aged along with the website. Besides that, the youth doesn’t want to be on the same platform as their parents and grandparents anymore. Teenagers are rebellious and need to distance themselves from the elderly in every way possible. On the other hand, we have thousands of older people just discovering Facebook as a practical website for storing photos (old people love their photos) and keeping in touch with their relatives.

Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm

However, it appears that Facebook isn’t really interested in attracting the younger users altogether. Instead, they’re more keen on keeping the old ones there by improving their network in a number of ways. Recently, they announced a whole new algorithm for the News Feed, which will focus more on the social interaction than on ads and viral videos. Zuckerberg says that they want to make sure the time spent on Facebook is a time well-spent. This move was something of a response to various allegations that Facebook was the main medium for fake news and that it actually allowed foreign interference in national elections. With the new algorithm, the focus will be more on the users themselves and their own posts.

So, if you feel young at heart, where should you go? Snapchat is the most obvious answer as that’s where all the youth is nowadays. On the other hand, you can just accept that you’re no longer a kid and embrace Facebook’s maturity as well as your own. Do you agree?

h/t Guardian

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