We all knew deep down inside it was coming, but 2014 may be the end of Facebook as we know it. A few months ago Facebook disclosed that there was a definite decrease in teens using the social media platform, but a new study finds that it’s closer to “dead and buried.”
Professor Daniel Miller of University College London is heading a European Union backed study of eight countries collecting data on teens and Facebook use. “What we’ve learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried.” What caused this trend? Miller associates it to parental helicopters. “Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected. In response, the young are moving on to cooler things.” Yes that’s right, parents ruined Facebook.
Okay, so Facebook isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, but the teen engine that got it started (our generation, you’re welcome) is clearly on the decline. Teens are now moving on to other cooler mobile social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Instagram (technically owned by Facebook). With their demographics changing, the Facebook that we knew growing up has to evolve if it’s to survive the “App Wars.”
So what is Facebook’s strategy for growth? Do what everyone does and copy Google. Aside from dabbling in new artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology, Facebook is stepping up it’s messaging and mobile game by gobbling up competing apps to own the competition. Facebook realizes it doesn’t have to be cool, it just has to own what is. In 2013, Facebook acquired GazeHawk, Onavo, Microsoft Atlas, SportStream, and mobile app platform Parse, but got backhanded by Snapchat’s turndown of a $3 Billion buyout. Not to worry though, Facebook had an awesome year in 2013 and 2014 wants to see it’s stock go above $55. Facebook has also recently become available offline to millions of mobile users in countries with little wireless network infrastructure and next year will see new video ads, adding millions of new users and new ad revenue.
So are you going to miss the old Facebook? More importantly, is your app the next to be bought out by Zuckerberg?