A recent study by Princeton University predicts Facebook could die out by 2017. If the Facebook infection were to track the same course as a disease, the study states it would peak and then users would lose interest.
Social Media Expert Kris Ruby, President of Social Media & PR Agency Ruby Media Group, weighs in on FOX Business Money with Melissa Francis. Watch the full segment here.
Kris Ruby, Ruby Media Group, Expert Opinion:
The tool is here to stay- but the “glam” and “glitz” appeal of the Facebook network has faded because it has lost its younger demographic following. The appeal of the network has faded and its losing its younger demographic.
The most important part of this study for business owners to know is that whether Facebook comes or goes, social media is here to stay. You still need to invest in content creation as part of your digital strategy. The only thing that will change is which network you post it on. We saw this with MySpace and will continue to see this with “hot” social media networks.
Facebook will need to evolve through product innovation in order to grow market share or it will die out. In business, if you’re not growing you’re dying.
Has Facebook hit its peak of popularity?
Facebook has hit its peak of popularity among a younger demographic. Diseases stop spreading when they reach a saturation point, and Facebook has reached this point. The numbers for the younger market are on the decline and if Facebook does not innovate and appeal to this market, there will be growth issues. According to a study by istrategylabs, Facebook Has Lost Over 11 Million Young Users Since 2011.
However, this is not necessarily a bad thing for marketers targeting a different demographic. The 55+ group is the fastest growing demographic on social media. As a luxury-marketing agency, this is a positive. This is the group we want to mass market to that has discretionary income to spend. So yes, Facebook may have hit its peak of popularity with young people, but for marketers who want to reach an older demographic, this is a hyper-targeted way to do so.
Is Facebook going through a bubonic plague?
Like the bubonic plague, Facebook could die out as users become immune to its influence. You hear a lot of people say, “I’m hoping to be off Facebook,” referring to its addictive nature. However, regarding the study, it is important to keep in mind that it is based solely on Google search data. A large majority of users now access Facebook using mobile apps rather than through a browser, which may skew the data. It is not peer-reviewed either, meaning other academics have not had the opportunity to challenge and critique its findings before publication.
Are there certain trends that show Facebook is losing more than gaining more followers?
Yes, it has a major “teen appeal” problem.
What will the next Facebook be? Where will all of those lost users go next?
In my opinion, lost users will migrate to Instagram. Instagram is currently the world’s fastest-growing social network. According to research by the GlobalWebIndex, Instagram is growing the fastest of all social media sites worldwide, increasing its active user base by 23% in the last six months. As one user noted, Instagram is a place to post photos of the things that you like the most, not the things that you dislike. It is more visually stimulating.
To book Kris Ruby for an upcoming segment, contact kruby @ rubymediagroup.com