Is it game over Facebook?
‘Facebook is for old people’
‘Facebook isn’t cool anymore’
‘Facebook is boring’
Not my words, but the words of every single social media exec I have interviewed over the past couple of weeks. Finding digital talent in Malaysia used to be quite a challenge, but not anymore, not in a digital age. I’m in the process of recruiting for our growing social team and have had well over 10 interviews over the past couple of weeks and there are couple of things that stand out as key similarities in each and every interview!
The first thing to note is that I have been interviewing digital natives, millennials, the type who grew up watching on demand television on ipads and reading books on eReaders, the generation that didn’t know life before social media!
Apart from the similarities in relation to the unicorn colored hairstyles, piercings and tattoos the one thing that stands out a country mile is the overall perception of our beloved Facebook!
Literally everyone I have spoken to has told me that they don’t use it anymore, its old fashioned, boring, full of ads, my mums on there, its for old people! Well I certainly feel a lot older now! So this got me thinking, especially about the recent Facebook algorithm change, is this the beginning of the end for the social media giant? I for one cant remember the last time I epdated my Facebook status, I’m sure I am not alone!
Facebook wouldn’t be the social media platform to disappear, maybe social sites have a lifespan too. When I was growing up the first wave of social platforms included the likes of Friendster, MySpace, FriendsReunited and FaceParty. What happened to all of these? Gone, deceased, all buried in a digital graveyard!
The second wave of social sites was driven by Facebook, and supported by the likes of Google+ and twitter. Twitter has a niche focus and use, although every where I read user numbers are on the decline and we all know what happened to Google+.
This then got me thinking, why? Is it a generation thing? If you think about different generations, baby boomers behave differently from gen x’ers, and gen x’ers clearly behave differently to millennials. Each of these generations is perceived to see the world in a very different way that translates into their buying decisions and online habits. Are we seeing the same thing with social sites?
We are in a new era now, one driven by smartphones and mobility. I remember the first time I arrived in Malaysia, I was shocked at the amount of smartphone users, if I am right adoption is so high that there is nearly 2 smartphones for every person. With that in mind it is no wonder that the preferred social platforms of todays modern day consumer is Instagram, and they aren’t the only platform out there that view the smartphone as the primary platform for their application. These companies don’t even think of launching via a website, the assume, over time, that people will use their mobile applications almost entirely instead of websites, and I think they are right!
So is this the end of Facebook? I’m not sure but one thing is certain, they are going to have to make some significant changes to remain relevant and ‘cool’ in todays society and with our modern day consumer. There is hope though, Google and Amazon have done it, both of these giants have been around long before Facebook redefined the way in which we communicate. Furthermore they continue to add value in our lives and innovate in all that they do, but social media, as we know, is a very different beast!