Thom: Facebook is the go-to social media source for teenagers and adults. While it began as a network for Harvard students, the website has played host to non-students and teenagers for years now. Throughout my teenage years and into adulthood, I have always used Facebook to keep up with old friends and look at pictures that all my Facebook friends posted. In middle school and high school, everyone had a Facebook. This included friends, other teenagers, parents, teachers, and pretty much everyone with internet access.
People like myself and younger are the target audience of Facebook; teenagers and young adults. This audience on a free website is a goldmine for advertising, which Facebook has surely taken advantage of. However, there is evidence that this target audience is leaving Facebook for other forms of social media. Does this mean that Facebook could someday be replaced as the dominant form of social media?
Molly: Before Facebook became popular, there was Myspace. Myspace was very similar to Facebook as you could also have a profile and keep tabs on all of your friends and what they were doing. For a long time, facebook only allowed users with an .edu email. It was made specifically for college students. However when Facebook increased the age range of people allowed on their site, everyone flocked from Myspace to Facebook. Myspace failed to update their company to keep up with the times. Facebook was new and more convenient. Myspace went from the top social media to the very bottom.
I believe Facebook is on track with Myspace and has already replaced as the dominant form of social media. Facebook has lost millions of users each month. Although they are trying to innovate their site, there are so many businesses and adults on Facebook that I believe it’s driving the younger generations away. People are always looking for something new and with technology today, there are several new social media sites that are just starting out.
Thom: I definitely agree that there are several new social media sites that might replace Facebook. This is partially because Facebook has largely had a teenage/young adult following. But nowadays, parents and grandparents have Facebook too. Most young adults want to share their social life via Facebook, but find that challenging when their mothers might see pictures of their weekend escapades, or a chatty grandmother comments on some of their statuses. These older relatives often do not have Twitter, however. Older folks are just as sparse on Instagram too. For teenagers, these newer social media websites without parents are a haven to post their social media without fear of repercussion or embarrassment from their guardians.
Molly: Not only do these young adults have to hide these things from their family but also from potential employers. Facebook’s privacy settings not only are complicated but they do not hide everything. It’s easy for anyone to search a person and see that picture from weekend escapades or a post using foul language. Employers can see this as immature and can cost the person a job.
Other social medias,such as Twitter, have simple setting where someone can hide all of their posts from those who they didn’t give permission to. Because of this, it’s kind of easy to see why people are starting to migrate towards other social medias.
Thom: I think another reason why Facebook is losing way to social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram is portability. When Facebook got “big” and began to replace MySpace, most people did not have smartphones as we know them today. While it is true that Facebook has a mobile app for every cellular platform, the concept of the website it simply not well suited for smartphones. The Facebook app is less than spectacular for finding friends, looking at profiles, and looking through photo albums. The app more or less show status updates from friends, through a clunky and confusing filter. Twitter is much more adept at showing these quick status updates from friends and celebrities. Instagram is much better at showing quick glimpses of friends’ photos, again succeeding Facebook.
Molly: I agree that that is a big reason why people do not spend much time on facebook. People on their way to work or in between classes or school just want to look very quickly at what is going on in the lives of their friends. Facebook’s new newsfeed is cluttered with rather trivial knowledge. Someone wants to know if a friend got married or is having a child, not that they commented on their other friend’s picture of a cat.
It’s also cluttered with different ads for pages and companies. In this article, it describes how facebook has updated the newsfeed to help spread information of businesses to users.
Thom: Facebook is losing its way to other social networks in many aspects. I think it will remain the dominant social media for awhile though, even if it is among an older crowd than it originally targeted. Even though other outlets are more convenient in a smartphone world, people will probably continue to use their home computers for social networking as well. In the home computer social network, Facebook is the best option. While it may decline in popularity, Facebook will be used as a way to find friends and reconnect for years.