I find it ironic that the recent headlines about Facebook
saying it was “dead and buried with teens
” spread like wildfire in social and mainstream media. The
fact is that the report was not comprehensive – it was based on a niche ethnographic
study of 16-18 year olds in and around London, UK.
The “dead and buried” sound bite like all good sound bites
carried the day. Mark Twain said “ never let the truth get in the way of a good
story” and sadly even the sounder publications seem to be picking up stories
without a morsel of journalistic rigour.
It is ironic because almost everyday there is a story widely
shared on Facebook and then wait… dig a little deeper and oh…it is not so true.
Today it was "the smog so bad that the sunrise in China is now displayed via a massive screen" story. I saw this post no
fewer than 5 times and then came across an article in Quartz
debunking the story.
Back to Facebook, I am sure that teens are using it less and less and
other social platforms more. Just think
back to when you were a teen. How’d you feel with your mom and dad as friends.
Check out this little video from South Park (props to Hyper Island where I
first saw this).
I am far from a teen and my Facebook use has waned too. Why?
1. False stories – I don’t know what to believe or what to share.
2. Lots of repetition of
stories - I have liked sources of the better stories that my friends
have shared. Now I get the same story from say upwothy.com and from my friends.
3. Various friends seem to share
the same stories which wastes precious news feed real estate - especially on
4. Most of the stuff on Facebook really isn't that important or interesting. How many meal pics and cat photos can one see anyway?
5. I am playing with Instagram and Google + which are newer.
Also for me it is about sheer numbers. As I have liked more brands
and friends, at some point there is less value from my Facebook feed – there is
too much and relevance of the content becomes questionable. My time is limited – I can
only take in so much. And as I posted recently there is a “head up” and “enjoy
the moment” movement afoot.. which I am trying to ascribe to.
If Facebook wanted to add more value and be more relevant, it would flag BS stories or point me in the direction of alternative
sources. It would remove duplication and maybe help me establish an optimal
number of brands and people to follow given the time I am prepared to spend on
As far as teens go well Facebook will have to figure that
one out on their own… but as any marketer can tell you… you can’t be everything