Facebook #EpicFail

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

From the moment that Mark Zuckerberg turned his Facebook idea into the world’s most popular social network, marketers have continued to make claims that it’s simply the latest social fad. They have told us that like all of the fallen social sites before it (R.I.P. MySpace), Facebook too will eventually lose its “cool factor”. There is no doubt about it; Facebook has continually disproved these claims. Until now. New studies show that Facebook’s most important generation, millennials, is leaving in a hurry.

Teen Girls Sharing Elsewhere

Teen girls are leaving Facebook in droves and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. New research from KidSay indicates that teen girls who said, “I don’t use Facebook” has risen 30% since 2012. In addition, only 7% of teen girls say Facebook is their favorite website.

Teen girls have been given an important decision to make: they can hang out with their parents and grandparents on Facebook, or choose to avoid them and interact on new, more exciting social networks that they actually enjoy using, like Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat.

Facebook: The Passive Social Network

Millennials are using Facebook as an obligation to feel in the know. This is a major reason why many millennials are leaving the platform. We all know that millennials don’t want to feel an obligation to do something that should come natural. This has led to Facebook becoming the home of passive social content: meaning millennials are using Facebook to get caught up, but not to engage. Pew Research found that Facebook users “like” content, but they only share or update their status or pictures occasionally.

This means that Facebook isn’t only being used less, but it’s also being used in a less important role within its users’ social lives. So while Facebook may appear to have held on to its sense of “coolness” longer than many other social platforms, KidSay’s research indicates that Facebook may be gone from teen girls’ social media mix in a year or two.

Where Facebook Went Wrong with Millennials

So where did Facebook lose its stronghold on millennials? Facebook appears to have lost sense of what made it so popular to begin with: adding value through its uniqueness. Millennials no longer care about just being able to speak their mind, rather, they want to be sure someone hears them. This is why social outlets like Instagram and Snapchat are experiencing such high success. By failing to provide unique ways for users to express themselves, Facebook is losing it’s most important following. Being caught up on what their grandmas and moms are doing on Facebook just isn’t enough for teen girls. Also, by not adapting to millennials’ social needs, Facebook is committing a marketing #EpicFail.

Brendan Shaughnessy contributed to this post.

Photo Credit: Flickr via Marco Pakoeningrat & mkhmarketing & PictureYouth.

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About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.