‘There are just too many old people’ this was the response of a middle school American pupil when surveyed about the ‘coolness’ of the world’s biggest social media site Facebook. I seem to agree with her, when your “grandmamma” starts ‘poking’ you perhaps it’s time to find a new social media platform. So has Facebook lost its coolness? Let’s crunch some numbers.
The average user spends 410 minutes on Facebook per month and this was up from 287 minutes in 2010 a 42% increase. Facebook also commands 14.7% of total internet usage minutes bigger than any other website making Facebook superior to porn! But the numbers aren’t all good, in ‘mature markets’ such as the U.S Facebook seems to be facing a mass exodus, according to Inside Facebook (a site that analyzes the social network for developers and advertisers) Facebook lost a jaw dropping 6 million users in one month recently but Facebook has a whooping 700 million users world wide spending a combined average of 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook so what is a mere 6 million users?
The numbers seems to indicate Facebook still has ‘it’ but according to the business insider Facebook has lost its mojo; the problem with Facebook currently is that it is losing usage amongst what was formerly their most devoted users: young people. Loads of young people have decided Facebook isn’t ‘cool’ anymore and are ditching it in droves and because young people are often a leading indicator of what the mass market will eventually do, ‘I’d think twice before investing my hard earned money in Facebook stocks.’
I tend to agree with the business insider as great as the numbers look, they are masking the truth which is; users are simply bored with Facebook and are posting less. Look at your own usage over the last year are you still as devote a user as you were a few years ago, yes or no? I suspect many of you will answer no. See the most priceless leverage any social platform has is embodied in one word, ‘cool’. Once it has lost that word it has lost whatever social leverage it once had.
Big companies can come and go in an extremely short periods of time. Yahoo! Was once what Google is today. MySpace was not so long ago what Facebook is today. Innovation happens everywhere and it awaits no company. The thing that made Facebook so very successful when it first launched was its coolness. It was cool to be seen on Facebook, it was cool to say ‘Facebook me’ but now you just look a little outdated and left behind. Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Twitter are the places to be, that’s where all the cool kids are. The early adopters have betrayed Facebook and whether you like it or not, we all eventually (like a good herd of sheep) follow these early adopters where ever they may lead us.
That’s our piece and tell them you heard it from Matt “The Rat” Mkhize. Also checkout an infographic on some interesting stats on Facebook vs Twitter.