Mark Zuckerberg of Meta has frequently reaffirmed his desire to “cater more towards young people.”
Meta’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared a touch frazzled during its quarterly earnings conference for the period of July to September 2021. He spoke out about it as well. He expects a change. The change would take years. Instead of optimizing for the greater number of older individuals, Zuckerberg remarked, “We are retooling our teams to make serving young adults their North Star.”
According to various studies, Facebook used to be a gathering place for young consumers, but that has changed over the past ten years. Despite the company’s efforts, four youths interviewed by Insider stated they have no interest in using the network. According to multiple studies, Facebook’s user base of teens and young consumers is declining across all of its major areas. They are switching to different social networking sites like Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook’s advertising business is threatened by the sluggish exodus of youthful users, growing data privacy worries, and the rising cost per impression because it may lose control of social media ad spending. According to social media experts and young internet users who were born between 1997 and 2012, popularly known as Generation Z, and who was interviewed by Business Insider India, Facebook’s reputation has been damaged by the perception war and may not recover. Facebook has copied many social media models that have been successful for other platforms to rekindle the attention of the young audience. It’s almost like Joey from the hit comedy Friends thinking he can look young by simply wearing what teenagers do. Facebook’s 360-degree photo format is said to have been inspired by YouTube, Facebook Stories by the social media platform Snapchat, and a new feature, Reels, by Instagram, which is a short-form video format similar to TikTok. If you open Facebook or Instagram, you’ll see changes. Social media apps are being updated to include more posts, particularly videos, from influencers, celebrities, and random strangers who go viral. Traditionally, social media apps have been primarily defined by the friends and family you choose to connect with. In recent years, competition between Facebook and other applications has intensified, according to Zuckerberg, who called TikTok “one of the most effective opponents we’ve ever faced.” Even though only 27% of teenagers claimed to use Facebook, 73% of them claimed to use TikTok, according to a Piper Sandler study. So, there is already inside concern about a big technology company losing its youthful customers. Last year, it was discovered through a whistleblower’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit that American teenagers’ time on Facebook had decreased 16% year over year and that American young adults were also using the social network 5% less frequently. According to different Statista research, Baby Boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—have taken over Facebook. Additionally, the market research firm eMarketer revised downward its projections for the expansion of Facebook’s young user base in France and Germany. According to the report, through 2023, fewer people aged 34 and younger will be using Facebook in Germany, with the number of teenagers who do so falling to just over one-third from 2019. It further states that by 2023, there would be 27.9 million fewer youths in France who use Facebook. The platforms and brands that teens, Gen Z, and Millennials choose are viewed as “cool, aspirational, and desirable” by older age groups. Teens, Gen Z, and Millennials make up about 65% of the total internet user base. Gen Z and Millennials are the largest demographic groups in India and have significant amounts of discretionary income globally, according to consulting firm Deloitte. Therefore, Zuckerberg’s desire to reverse this steady exodus of young consumers is not altogether unexpected.
Despite the company’s efforts to remain relevant, GenZ internet users questioned by Business Insider India listed a range of reasons for not using Facebook, including its archaic user interface and the platform’s age-increasing user base. Facebook has been dealing with a slew of controversies since the release of internal papers and has been striving to repair its reputation.