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Facebook and Instagram struggle with an ageing user base

According to media reports, Facebook and Instagram are losing their young users at alarming rates as Gen Z and millennials now prefer more immersive social gaming platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat.

According to The Verge, Facebook’s US teens users are expected to decline by 45 percent over the next two-years. This will lead to a decrease in daily Facebook users in the most lucrative ad markets, according The Verge.

According to internal Facebook documents, “Young adults between 20 and 30 are expected to see a decline of 4 percent during this timeframe.”

Instagram did better among young people. It was full saturation in the US and France as well as Japan and Australia.

There was still reason to be concerned. According to Facebook researchers, teens posting had fallen 13 percent since 2020. This “remains most concerning trend”.

 

“The ageing up issue” is real. As they get older, Facebook is less popular among teens,” the researcher wrote in an intern memo. This memo was part of disclosures to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and was provided to Congress by Frances Haugen, the whistleblower’s legal counsel.

Haugen claimed that Facebook’s business model of selling ads on the basis of engagement makes it easy to keep users on the site at all costs even though it knows the content they are engaging in is harmful. In testimony before the US Congress, she also stated that Instagram can be harmful to teenagers’ mental health.

The report stated that although it was originally created as a social networking site for college students and has been used by employees to predict that the app’s growing age will lead to more alienation among young people. This could result in future generations being cut off and future growth being limited.

 

Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that “our products are still widely used among teens, but we face fierce competition from the likes Snapchat and TikTok. Every social media company wants teens to use its services. We are no different.” According to internal documents, Facebook and Instagram employees have been working on products for young adults and teens in an effort to address the crisis.

They also recognize that both platforms will be uphill.

Facebook has been working with Groups+ to allow young people to join “close-knit groups” and group for certain personalities to “increase cultural relevancy.” Facebook plans to rebrand the company, with a new name that emphasizes the metaverse.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will likely announce the new branding at Connect on October 28.

 

In September, Facebook announced it would invest $50 million in partnership with the organisation to build the Metaverse. This new phase of interconnected virtual experiences will use technologies such as VR/AR and virtual reality.

The Metaverse is a collection of virtual spaces that allow one to create and share ideas with others who aren’t physically present in the same space.

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