“Facebook has been trying too hard. Teens hate it when people try too hard; it pushes them away,” Ruby Karp said.
“Teens just like to join on their own. If you’re up in their faces about the new features on Facebook they’ll get annoyed and find a new social media,” she adds.
Karp is no marketing head honcho in some ad agency but this 13 year old girl’s insight in a Mashable story she wrote was no less true – teens aren’t that into Facebook anymore.
Its popularity among this fickle demographic has called even the attention of Facebook execs. In its Q3 earnings call, David Ebersman, Facebook’s chief financial officer, admitted seeing “… a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens. We wanted to share this with you now because we get a lot of questions about it.”
So far, Filipinos are not growing tired of Facebook. The local community is brimming with activity from e-commerce, messages from loved ones abroad and countless picture galleries of beloved dogs and last summer’s beach vacation.
But Facebook might soon have a teen problem in the Philippines as Filipinos increasingly do their socializing through more intimate and private mobile messaging platforms.
Fleishman HIillard discussed about such a trend, citing the booming popularity of the likes of KakaoTalk and WeChat that have effectively merged the social network model on top of their messaging services.
The result is a fun messaging platform that is accessible to more youths since smartphones are likely the first kind of affordable tech they could own and even afford to buy.
“The market’s adoption of messaging apps like KakaoTalk, Whatsapp, Viber is being driven by the combination of ease of use, convenience, privacy, and unique messaging options such as gaming and emoticons/stickers – overall heightening one’s mobile communications experience,” says Don Anderson, SVP and director of regional strategic digital integration for Asia Pacific of FleishmanHillard, in a statement.
“It’s also hard to overlook the cost effectiveness that these apps provide for maintaining real-time conversations over traditional, SMS-based interactions.”
While Facebook may be approaching the crossroads of relevancy, particularly among teenagers, it is far from being the next Friendster or Myspace.
“Facebook still has its place in social media as a one-to-many platform, but Facebook’s future dominance will continue to be questioned as more disruptive, mobile-enabled one-to-one communications technologies enter the picture, and the experiences provided by those technologies are diversified,” explains Anderson.
Inevitably, messaging apps will become another touch point, and possible a crucial one for mobile transactions.
Anderson identifies Xiaomi, a Chinese handset manufacturer, as already beginning to experiment with messaging apps as platforms for direct sales, and consumers should expect more brands to follow.
“Messaging apps will reach certain ubiquity, and put further pressure on existing ‘old school’ social networks,” Anderson concludes.
Like Anderson, Karp believes that the pressure is now higher than ever at Facebook to keep the youth engaged. In the August Mashable story, she said, “Facebook needs teens, because we’ll be the people keeping it going very soon.”
“I love Facebook, really I do. I hope they can make a comeback and appeal to my peers. I think it’s a great idea for a website, and I wish Facebook the best of luck.”