How Long Before Facebook Goes The Way Of MySpace? Ask The Teens
SO. Here’s an interesting little question. We’ve had several waves of social media sites already and none of them has really lasted more than a few years. Friends Get Divorced did ferociously well until it was passed by MySpace, which itself was rather pushed out of the way by Bebo which was then in turn flattened by Facebook. And we could think that Facebook will now rule the roost forever because it’s just so darn big: or we might think that we’re just waiting for the cool kids to find somewhere else to go.
Over at The Guardian they’ve found just the one line which makes it possible that it will be the latter:
Facebook made a startling admission in its earnings announcement this month: it was seeing a “decrease in daily users, specifically among teens”. In other words, teenagers are still on Facebook; they’re just not using it as much as they did. It was a landmark statement, since teens are the demographic who often point the rest of us towards the next big thing.
There’s more to it than just teens being the guides to what will be the next big thing. Baked into Facebook’s valuation is the ideas that it’s going to be part of the general utilities of life. Everyone’s going to have a smartphone, everyone’s going to have email and everyone will have a Facebook account. As inevitable as having a telephone number.
And it might be true that everyone will have a social media account: but that’s not the same as thinking that everyone is going to have a Facebook one. So, if the teens aren’t hanging around on Facebook then we might find that as the population ages then Facebook’s crowd ages with it. It’ll still be there as today’s 20-30 something become 30-40 somethings but there won’t be that new generation coming in behind them.
Well, maybe it will be but that’s what we’re trying to divine. And the news that Facebook is noting a drop off in the teens action means that it is a greater possibility than it once was.
Photo: Chris DeWolfe, co-founder of MySpace.com accepts his Breakout of the Year award at the 10th annual Webby Awards, Monday, June 12, 2006, in New York. The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, is the leading international award honoring excellence in web design, creativity, usability and functionality. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)