Teens and young adults – those who fall into Generation Z – aren’t doing the “friending” thing as much on Facebook these days, and certainly not at the rate compared to Millennials or Generation X. A Pew Research Center survey on teenagers, technology, and social media found that only 32 percent of U.S. teenagers aged 13-17 use Facebook regularly.
This represents a substantial drop in comparison to the 2014-2015 study which found that 71% teens use Facebook. Snapchat was beaten out by Instagram.
This has been caused by a number of factors, such as recent ethical and privacy issues, competition from platforms like Tiktok and being judged to be an app for teens parents and grandparents,” said Dr. Dustin York, an associate professor in communication at Maryville University.
York observed that teens want the exact same clothes and music choices as their parents.
It is not surprising that this shift has occurred.
The number of teenagers using Facebook in America has been declining steadily in recent years. In 2021, Facebook even predicted that the figures could drop by up to 45 percent in two years.
Get Out with the Old
Facebook was largely viewed as a social network that their Generation X and Baby Boomer parents could use. Facebook has been slowly, but surely losing its popularity among younger generations. Facebook took the wise decision to increase its reach in recent years.
York stated that Facebook’s parent company Meta has an underlying hold on 62 per cent of Instagram users. However, York warned that it is at risk of losing its top ad market, which includes daily Instagram users. Meta has been able to get the attention it deserves by purchasing Instagram. But, this is a completely different network.
It is similar to how multinational corporations might position their products differently for different consumers.
Brand architecture is the process that companies use to appeal different customer types through various brands. This increases parent company stock values. The same parent company that sells a $20k Volkswagen Jetta also sells a half-million-dollar Lamborghini Aventador – both are profitable,” said York.
Facebook could lose Generation Z completely in the next years but will continue to be a useful platform for tens and millions of seniors.
Facebook friend request
York said that Meta might not be content to allow Facebook’s user base age and disappear. Instead, the company may make future moves to rebrand Facebook as the “cool place” for younger users – even if those aren’t Generation Z.
York suggested, “Facebook could undergo major structural and ethical changes.” They could add social features teenagers love like entertainment-based algorithm and smaller group communication. Facebook needs the time and magic to bring back what is old-fashioned cool. As I walk around college, I see that 90s fashion has returned: low-rise skinny jeans and big shirts. Facebook might have a chance with Generation Alpha.