X Media™ Company

Facebook Renews Focus on Young Users

Given that Facebook seems to have lost a lot of its youth appeal, with teens preferring Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat instead, this seems like an odd focus for the app moving forward:

“As we think about the next 20 years, we’re focused on two big things: building the next generation of social media for young adults and leaning into new product capabilities enabled by AI.

Facebook as the place to be for young adults? Really?

The statement comes from a post that Facebook published late last week which provides an overview of some of its key focal elements moving forward, as it looks to re-establish ties with the youth.

Or simply reinforce them.

As noted by Facebook:

“Facebook is still for everyone, but in order to build for the next generation of social media consumers, we’ve made significant changes with young adults in mind. And with five quarters of healthy growth in young adult app usage in the US and Canada, over 40 million US/CA young adults are daily active users, and this number is the highest in three years.

Which is interesting, because according to research conducted by Pew Research last year, Facebook has lost a lot of ground as the social app of choice among young users.

Pew Research teen social media use

As per Pew:

Facebook once dominated the social media landscape among America’s youth, but the share of teens who use the site has dropped from 71% in 2014-2015 to 33% today.”

So while Facebook may have regained some of that popularity of late, as you can see, it’s still well behind these other apps, and it’s hard to see how it can regain that ground, given the reputational, and habitual position that it now finds itself in.

But Facebook says that it is regaining youth interest.


  • Marketplace – Facebook says that young people can find great deals on furniture on Marketplace, which is helpful for key lifestyle changes (like moving out of home)
  • Reels – Facebook says that Reels is gaining traction as a medium to explore interests
  • Facebook Groups – FB Groups have long played a key connective role, and Facebook says that young users are now using groups to connect with local communities

Also, one you likely weren’t expecting:

“Facebook Dating is continuing to see steady and strong daily active user growth, and is up +20% year-over-year with young adults in the United States and Canada.”

Yes, Facebook Dating, which it initially launched in 2019, and hasn’t really made much noise about since, is still facilitating dating matches, and is seeing more interest in the U.S.

So there are some ways that Facebook is drawing young users in, even if the main Facebook news feed doesn’t hold the same appeal that it once did. But these are mostly practical use cases, and what would be more interesting to see here is exactly how much time these youngsters are spending in the app.

Are they just checking in on these elements, then drifting off to TikTok to scroll through clips? That would be a more contextually relevant overview than these broad notes.

For context, Facebook claims to have 40 million young adults coming to the app daily in the U.S. and Canada combined. Snapchat has 100 million daily active users in the same region, which would also predominantly be young adults, while TikTok claims to have 170 million active users in the U.S.

So again, it does seem like it’ll be an uphill battle for Facebook to get more youngsters spending more time in the app, yet, Facebook’s parent company Meta also knows that it’ll need youth interest to drive adoption of its metaverse experience.

Really, the principle focus of the metaverse is driven by young user habits, with kids already spending more and more of their social time in gaming worlds like Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox. In essence, these are the templates of the metaverse, in that they already see kids interacting via avatars and digital characters, shifting the paradigm for how we connect. It’s this trend that Meta’s using as an indicator of future interest in its VR experience, so it really needs to align its development with younger users in order to drive the next stage.

As such, its announced focus on younger users does make sense. But can Facebook actually get more young users to care about Facebook once again?

In order to win them over, Facebook says it’s focused on three key elements:

  • Improving Reels and Feed ranking to drive better relevance
  • Updated video viewing experience, and capacity to share clips privately
  • Improved monetization opportunities for creators

I’m not sure that any of these is a surefire winner, but essentially, Facebook says that it’s looking to build tools that move beyond the social graph, which it’s long-relied on for its stickiness, and provide more options for young people to connect with a broader set of interests.

Really, it seems like an odd statement to publish. Like, why make an announcement on this front, with nothing to actually announce? But, for some reason, Facebook wants young people to know that it’s cool to hang out on Facebook once again.

Because that’s the way to be cool, by telling people that you are.

Either way, Facebook wants to focus on the youth, so if you’re wondering why they’re adding this or that new feature, maybe view it within this context.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lets Talk Us

Get an Quotation

Take the first step towards achieving your business goals, let us help you stand out and grow your business.