Young adults have been leaving Facebook in droves in recent years; the mass exodus is somewhat reminiscent to what led to the extinction of MySpace. But Facebook’s latest stock prices are going strong and with over 1-billion total users, a few million uses can’t be hurting the budget too badly. That still leaves the question of where are these young people 20-something year olds going off to?
Simple Is Better
MySpace learned the hard way that if there’s a shorter road to getting something done, people are going to take it. Young people got tired of learning HTML and going through extensive profile renovations every month just to manage their social media accounts. Although one could hardly argue that Facebook is “too complex,” there are now faster and more convenient ways to share information.
Two such examples are Instagram and Twitter; both have gained serious competitive traction against sites like Facebook, yet do essentially very similar things. Instagram is a photo-sharing app that lets users do two things: share and like photos. Applications like Instagram has taken the visual aspect of what made Facebook and MySpace so popular between friends and put it in a box by itself; 20-year old Facebook crowd has thus far responding kindly to this simplification.
Twitter on the other has taken the other route and focused their work attention on delivering the scrolling Facebook feed. The only difference between Facebook and Twitter is that twitter is faster, less formal, and direct route to connecting with celebrities, news sources, and individual idols.
Is This The End Of Facebook?
This is probably not the end of Facebook as you know it–not yet at least. Facebook has made modest strides to incorporate some of the features original to twitter, like hash tags, and make it easier for users to use their services.
It’s hard to say whether or not applications like Instagram and Twitter could ever have been so popular without the invention of the smart phone. Before the smart phone, if you wanted to switch between different services, you have to jump on a computer and navigate your web browser to an entirely different site. This is part of the reason that Facebook became popular as an all-in-one social hub. Now, there is an app for everything and all someone has to do is to jump back to the home screen and click on another service in a matter of seconds.
For now, 20-something year olds are doing what 20-somethings year olds do. They are trying out different services and experimenting with what they like and what they don’t. Always looking for the latest and greatest next thing while still remaining committed just enough to reap the advantage of their old service They are still around Facebook for the time being, but unless Facebook undergoes some changes to attract this wave of simplification, Instagram and Twitter could be the next big thing.