According to a recent study quoted by the British media, Facebook has already lost the battle for the hearts and minds of teenagers. If researchers are correct in their conclusions Facebook will soon join a long list of gone and forgotten internet fads.
Daniel Miller, lead anthropologist on the research team, who is professor of material culture of University College London, told The Guardian that ” Facebook is not just on the slide – it is basically dead and buried.” While researching the habits of 16-18 year olds in several European countries, Global Social Media Impact Study found that teenagers shun Facebook because it has become the social platform used by their parents.
Miller explained why youngsters are no longer interested in the most popular social network: “mostly they feel embarrassed to even be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives.” Researchers believe that teenagers accept to use less comfortable and less sophisticated services like Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat because the ability to evade parents’ surveillance is more important than functional characteristics of alternative services.
Facebook’s management should be very concerned about the news. The company’s business model relies on constant growth, but research shows that the number of teenage users is declining. Traditionally, teenagers are the most active part of the user base and are the kind of audience that is most interesting for advertisers. Losing market share among teenagers will mean certain bankruptcy for Facebook.
Karl Denninger, financial pundit and editor of Market-Ticker.org, believes that Facebook has a chance to repeat the fate of the once popular MySpace social network:
“This bodes very poorly for Zuckerberg’s ’empire’; anyone who forgets the similar meteor-shot of MySpace a number of years ago, and the subsequent crash, isn’t very bright. The problem with the Internet and young adults in general is that they are very faddish – and there’s nothing ‘sticky’ to hold the interest of that group. As soon as the ardor cools, or the ‘nerd’ quotient (or worse, the ‘mom’ quotient!) gets to be too high they move on, usually in packs, leaving the marketability of the former property in the ditch.”
source: voice of russia