It may sound absolutely shocking but “today’s youngsters do not find Facebook appealing” . That is what former Facebook product director Mr. Blake Ross had to say when he announced his resignation. Since the invention of Facebook, youth has been it’s greatest strength and later 8-80 almost everyone fell in love with this internet phenomenon. It might have been that Mr Ross was sarcastic with his statement but when Facebook announced its fourth quarter financial performance of 2012, we have clearly seen the growth of desk top usage slowed down significantly (12% in forth quarter in comparison to 16% in 3rd quarter). Though the Introduction of mobile monetization and increasing number of smart phone usage helped the company to retain its bottom line margin. But the clear take away was, Trend has been shifted from desk top usages to mobile device and smart phone was certainly the savior. And the real concern is, what if Smartphone itself fails to grow? That is what exactly happened, when later, Apple announced its slowing down quarterly result first time in decade!
So is it the early sign for the social media giant, that the magic has started to wane?
C’mon these are just the numbers. This is not the end of Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg and his company would certainly do some strategic stance change, cost cutting measure, or new introduction of some technology which would bring back the number on growth track again.
That’s not the issue. The major problem lies elsewhere. Teens and youngsters were the main stalwarts who helped Facebook to build its emperor in social media world. Now if they do not find Facebook anymore trendy that would be a great challenge for the Facebook developers to make them stick to the system. Situation was completely different 2-3 years back. People were going crazy about Facebook. Then what exactly happened that interest got fade up with times among users?
Reasons behind the fall of Emperor:-
Lets flash back to the past. Do you remember FirmVille, City Ville, Mafia War, Zynaga Pokar these Facebook games. Is there any way one can deny the contribution of these Zynga games for Facebook flourish. They undoubtedly contributed immensely. There were times when a large number of Facebook users who used to log in just to play these games. The percentage was quite high. You can count me one of them.
This is what exactly happened in past 2-3 years. The real charm of these games does not exist anymore. It faded off with times. People do not find these games any more appealing as they failed to implement new additions.
Changing trend :-
Consumer behavior never stick to one place. It keeps on changing with times and social culture. It happens in social media world as well. For instances, My-space had the major presence in social media realm pre-Facebook era as because it was the first, who introduced the concept of sharing photographs, notes, status in a customized manner without learning any programming codes. It was revolutionary because anybody could have a customized website page without being a programmer. The appeal of My-space also reduced over time as the bragging about ” Blowing one’s own horn” could not feed any longer.
Facebook, just like other social media platform enables someone to maintain his online persona. That involves a continuous monotony engagement which could easily be boring among user over times. May be Facebook is following the same path as its luster has been fading among youngsters significantly.
Increasing competition :-
Young user ain’t finding Facebook cool anymore. But does that mean they stopped using social networking sites? Not exactly. They have increased their engagement with other substitute product like Tumblr,Instagram and Snapchat. The major threat for Facebook is coming from Tumblr, the upcoming popular micro blogging site. May be the time has come for Facebook to put its hands up and do something really interesting for survival.
It will be hard to say whether it is the end of Facebook and it will be dead in near future or not. Time will tell us the story. But to stay in the course it needs to swim with the current that is for sure.