Is Facebook dead? | The Tylt
After Facebook rose to power in the early 2000s, users couldn't imagine their lives without it. How did you survive before status updates, friend requests, and of course, relationship statuses? But as the average age of Facebook users has gone up, so has the reluctance to use the site. Scores of negative headlines regarding data leaks and fake news have tarnished Facebook's reputation. Even so, Facebook is the best place to find personal information. Is Facebook dying?
Is Facebook dead?
Facebook has fallen out of vogue. When your parents, Aunt Sally, and Grandpa Joe are all on the social platform, suddenly it becomes a lot less attractive. One millennial, Andrew Watts, wrote on Medium that Facebook was "dead" all the way back in 2015. If it was dead then, it's already turned to dust now.
In short, many have nailed this on the head. It’s dead to us. Facebook is something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can't really leave.
Sure, Facebook may be dead for millennials and their younger successors, Gen Z, but that doesn't mean that it can't still be successful. Mashable's Heather Dockray uses her own quasi-scientific method to outline the people who still use–and even love–Facebook, including everyone from the "Resistance Mom" to the "Big Announcements Person."
This person is always announcing something — whether it's a book deal, a marriage or some bullshit introspective milestone they've reached that they'd like to announce to the world. You hate those posts and yet, for all your animosity, they continue to perform so well.
People do use Facebook to make announcements and share opinions. Where else would you go to see that Becky from high school is having a girl? And how would you survive without seeing Frank and Marina's immaculate engagement photos? You could probably do without the lengthy opinion posts, yet you read them anyway. There's something about Facebook that has gotten into your blood, and it's here to stay.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has brought on a new wave of scrutiny over user data. The rise of Snapchat and Facebook-savvy grandmas have rendered the website no longer cool to young people. #deletefacebook is trending across the internet.
Furthermore, if Facebook does lose hold of Gen Z, it has all but sealed its fate. Once you lose the young people, you've lost. Tulp reports:
According to eMarketer, Facebook will lose 2 million users under 25 this year. Less than half of U.S. Internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year for the first time.
But where photo albums and status updates have declined, engagement on Facebook groups has gone up. Facebook groups exist to discuss specific topics–whether it's cute dogs, gossip, or advice on living a vegan lifestyle, there's a Facebook group for everything. Admins set rules for engagement, and participants don't have to worry about self-promotion, fringe opinions, or combative attitudes.
In a way, invite-only Facebook groups have revitalized the same exclusivity that originally made Facebook popular. Social Factor provides an example:
More and more people are turning to secret Facebook Groups as a form of support, collaboration and networking. For example, fitness is a common group topic...Rather than blow up their friends’, families’ and coworkers’ News Feeds, they form secret Facebook groups to check in with each other and communicate daily. In theory, what starts as an accountability group turns into an online friendship, and ultimately a virtual support system.
Members of Facebook groups are devoted to their online communities. So long as these exist, Facebook will continue to live.