GM Thought of the Week – Has Facebook lost its cool?

So has Facebook lost its cool?


According to reports in the press this week, teenagers and young adults are ditching the site for rivals Instagram and Snapchat, and the main reason is to avoid their parents!


It’s estimated that 3 million under 25s in the UK and US will either quit or stop using Facebook regularly in 2018. Why? Because it’s being deemed by the youngsters as less cool than photo-led Instagram and Snapchat – mainly because Mum and Dad (and often grandparents) are regular users. With older relatives posting frequently, the younger generation seem to think FB has lost its fun element and are now posting generic and sanitised updates (if at all) and saving the fun and more risqué posts for Instagram and Snapchat, which their parents DON’T see.


The fact that eMarketer is predicting a decline is a bad sign for Facebook, not only because young people offer a good indicator of what’s popular, but more importantly for Facebook, losing out on the next generation of internet users could be a concern for the company’s long-term dominance. On the flip side, eMarketer expects Facebook-owned Instagram to grow significantly. The research firm believes that Instagram’s U.S. user base could grow by 13% this year, to almost 105 million people.


But will this growth be the younger audiences Facebook is losing? Or will it be Mum and Dad driving this growth by jumping on the Insta bandwagon? If so, there’s a possibility that Instagram will only keep its ‘cool’ for a short time. And, could the same also be applied to Snapchat, who is rumoured to be improving its user experience to make it easier to share and consume content on its app as a way of enticing the 25+ audience.


With all this in mind, could this mean that there’s room in the market for a brand new social media platform for the under 25s? Watch this space …


Lisa Kinsella, Associate Director of AV Investment