Facebook, which is often considered the father of modern social media, is a social network site that is omnipresent in almost all facets of modern culture. Worldwide, this platform hosts approximately over 2 billion users a month. There are 300 million photos uploaded per day. Five new profiles are created every day. Facebook has been an Internet king ever since its inception in 2004. And it’s about to lose its place on the throne.
Enter Snapchat, a smartphone applications that allows users to effortlessly send pictures and videos to their friends. How could something so arbitrary possibly stand up to a social media behemoth like Facebook? Well, part of the answer lies in the “pick-up and go” nature of the app. On Snapchat, all a user needs is a username and password and they’re ready to send goofy pictures and videos to all their friends. With Facebook, one needs to go through the process of creating and customizing their profile, complete with an acceptable profile picture, only to be bombarded with advertisements and news stories on their feed. In an era where the youth is increasingly more impatient, Snapchat gives its users a sense of instant gratification that Facebook cannot.
To put things into perspective, Facebook’s growth is simply going to be occurring at a slower rate than Snapchat’s in 2017. Facebook’s growth in users between the ages of 12 and 17 is expected to drop from 17.9% last year to 14.5% this year. Meanwhile, Snapchat is expected to see a tremendous growth in its user base, with its share of U.S. social media users predicted to jump from 31.6% to 40.8% this year.
Another possible explanation of this decline in Facebook’s growth is the fact that the platform may be getting too complex for its own good. What originally started off as a simple website in 2004 has since become a multi-billion dollar public corporation. It isn’t far off to say that the company now cares more about its revenues than the consumer experience, and its dwindling growth is evidence of that.
With all that being said, it isn’t too late for Facebook. Keep in mind that it wasn’t too long ago that Facebook lived in the shadow of its big brother, MySpace. However, if Facebook isn’t willing to make some fundamental changes, they had better be ready to start playing second fiddle to the new behemoth, Snapchat.
By: Alejandro Ramos
Live Oak Account Executive