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The Decline of Facebook

rousseau

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As time goes by I find myself less interested in using Facebook, but as one of the initial users who was hooked via the college exclusivity angle I find myself interested in how the site is changing. Based on the research I've done, most starkly, the platform is shedding young people at an increasing rate, and it's only getting worse. I found an article earlier this morning and it seems to address some of the main concerns people who end up quitting the platform have.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01497/full

The number of young Facebook users (age between 12 to 34) rapidly declined by almost 20% in 2 years (Edison Research, 2019). This decline may be a significant indicator for the challenging future of Facebook. Simply put, Facebook is no longer the go-to social media for personal and social uses, which can be called a considerable dive given the platform’s popularity over the years.

Building on the existing literature, we propose eight motives for Facebook withdrawal: information overload, privacy, banality, addiction, peer pressure, emergence of new platform, productivity, and annoyance (see Table 1). First, privacy is a significant reason to leave Facebook. The concern for privacy is stronger for Facebook quitters than Facebook users (Stieger et al., 2013). Govani and Pashley (2007) also state that personal privacy concerns may strongly impact the decision to participate (or not) on Facebook. For example, in a qualitative study by Dindar and Akbulut (2014), a participant noted that Facebook interferes with privacy too much and another one indicated his/her intention to quit if privacy was violated.

Many Facebook users also stopped their activity because of losing interest/banality. Baker and White (2011) interviewed 69 adolescents, and 51% of them said they no longer see interesting content. Participants from Baumer et al. (2013) indicated that Facebook is trivial and uninteresting since they think content on Facebook is no longer entertaining.

Similarly, some research points out that people leave Facebook because they perceive contents to be annoying. They were disturbed by people’s continuous posts and disliked how others presented themselves online (Rainie et al., 2013; Stieger et al., 2013). For instance, a survey from Facebook quitters showed that participants highly agreed that they were annoyed by the unnecessary posts and advertisements (Dindar and Akbulut, 2014).

This is pretty much in line with how I feel about the platform now. Lack of privacy, minimal interesting content, no engaging conversation, and most of my friends and peers just don't use it anymore. Lately I feel like I've hit a threshold and have no interest in using it going forward. I have a small, private account to follow my intimate family from time to time, and I still use messenger, and that's about it.

Anymore it also seems like young people like story features that allow them to avoid a public presence. They share with their friends and don't leave a trail of activity.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Young people shift to newer techs and Facebook is ancient by social media standards (Friendster -> MySpace -> Facebook -> Instagram -> Snapchat). I'm stunned it lasted this long. The only thing going for Facebook is the IPO providing the capital to buy up whatever the new thing is going to be. Had MySpace went IPO, they could have bought Facebook just before it became cool. So can Facebook continue acquiring the next thing to stay relevant?

As for myself, a not old, but not young person, Facebook contains a lot of repetition as people pretty much are one trick ponies. Lots of grunting, little listening.
 

Elixir

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Young people shift to newer techs and Facebook is ancient by social media standards (Friendster -> MySpace -> Facebook -> Instagram -> Snapchat). I'm stunned it lasted this long. The only thing going for Facebook is the IPO providing the capital to buy up whatever the new thing is going to be. Had MySpace went IPO, they could have bought Facebook just before it became cool. So can Facebook continue acquiring the next thing to stay relevant?

As for myself, a not old, but not young person, Facebook contains a lot of repetition as people pretty much are one trick ponies. Lots of grunting, little listening.

{{{ grunts in agreement }}}
 

rousseau

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As for myself, a not old, but not young person, Facebook contains a lot of repetition as people pretty much are one trick ponies. Lots of grunting, little listening.

That pretty much sums it up. I recall hearing once (of Facebook) that 5% of the users generate 95% of the content, and since hearing that I've really noticed it. A lot of what's posted on Facebook seems to boil down to I'm a bit lonely and want to express myself. Not a lot of thought is made in terms of what others actually want to see. And actually engaging critically with other people's posts? Beyond offering a like and moving on, forget about it.

After a while I started getting a voice in my head that said why the hell am I even bothering right before I'd post something new.
 

Toni

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I've only ever been 'interested' in Facebook in order to easily keep up with some friends and family and less important, to keep up with news. Over the last year, I've found that I've used Facebook much more often to keep abreast of COVID-19 related news/issues pertinent to me and my community. In fact, this is how I first learned of the local vaccine clinics being offered, where I got my Moderna X 2. Sure, I could use the local newspaper for this but it's not really local anymore and it costs money I'm not willing to throw at something so utterly useless and out of date. They don't even bother trying to keep their website up to date enough so that parents can look at it to see if there are weather related school closings, a major issue in the upper midwest. But there are facebook community groups, devoted to COVID-19, to various local issues--the dog park has a page, for instance, and it is apparently the ONLY way to see online menus for some restaurants if you want to place a take out order.

I also use it to screen some news for me: It will let me know about articles on NYT and WaPo and other more local news outlets, and so on. THEN I will check out those news sites for the article, if I haven't already read it. But it's a good screen for me on busy days when I don't have time to go through the online versions.

Aside from that? What else would anyone want to use Facebook for? Political rantings? Sure. But, my observation is that most of the people who do so are terribly uninformed or misinformed. Sometimes, I run across a posting of a music video of an artist I like and take the trip down memory lane. Oh, if you're interested, you should look up Saxsquatch, a saxophonist who plays a lot of popular music on his saxophone, often in various wooded locations. He's pretty good and it's fun.

But aside from that: I share vacation photos, or dog photos or bitch about the weather. What else is there?
 

Politesse

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My students have been snickering whenever I mention Facebook for about five years now. It is Boomer territory now.
 

rousseau

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My students have been snickering whenever I mention Facebook for about five years now. It is Boomer territory now.

Maybe even I'm behind the times and haven't noticed how bad it was until recently.

I do find myself in a strange cohort where many of my peers do actually use it, but the younger than me they get the numbers drop pretty rapidly. So one foot's in Instagram, and the other is awkwardly still in Facebook because that's where a lot of my acquaintances are.

I guess I really was the target market when Facebook started up so I've always thought of it as the de facto place on the internet. But maybe it's already thoroughly not that, now.
 

rousseau

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Aside from that? What else would anyone want to use Facebook for? Political rantings? Sure. But, my observation is that most of the people who do so are terribly uninformed or misinformed.

This is partly what drove me to Twitter for a period of time, but eventually I discovered that it was more of the same there (despite being a bit better). These days I'm more of the perspective that uninformed or misinformed views largely shape our world, and are ubiquitous across the internet.

I went through a very distinct progression with Facebook over the years, where I slowly realized that few were listening to anything or critically analyzing their own views. Eventually I just dropped out of the conversation altogether and became more of an observer (partially how I am here now).

But it has had it's uses. The Marketplace is genuinely useful, and Messenger works well.
 

TV and credit cards

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My ex uses it to make money. She sells food to her local “group”. Takes orders, cooks all weekend, and they come pick it up for meals throughout the week.
 

Toni

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Aside from that? What else would anyone want to use Facebook for? Political rantings? Sure. But, my observation is that most of the people who do so are terribly uninformed or misinformed.

This is partly what drove me to Twitter for a period of time, but eventually I discovered that it was more of the same there (despite being a bit better). These days I'm more of the perspective that uninformed or misinformed views largely shape our world, and are ubiquitous across the internet.

I went through a very distinct progression with Facebook over the years, where I slowly realized that few were listening to anything or critically analyzing their own views. Eventually I just dropped out of the conversation altogether and became more of an observer (partially how I am here now).

But it has had it's uses. The Marketplace is genuinely useful, and Messenger works well.

Yeah, but I don’t think that was ever what Facebook was for—I thought it was only for friends a d family but need a d commerce got caught up in it all. I am not shy about posting political stuff on FB but I would never expect a decent discussion on FB, either. Personally I prefer email over texts and texts over Facebook a d Facebook over Instagram, which technically I have an account fir but don’t use —it’s just not useful to me. I started a Twitter acct only to follow some of the alt and rogue accounts a few years ago. I’ve figured out which have reliable insights (most are no longer active) and also to catch emerging news headlines, which I also use FB for in a more limited manner. But as far as conversing with friends and family, I much, much, much prefer email or phone calls. But....,my kids prefer FB or texts. One friend has a shoulder injury that makes long typing sessions difficult so we text more often. Our phone calls tend to run into hours so texts it is. We’re not even Facebook friends—she uses FB only for photos of grandchildren. I think her friend children and maybe one niece are her only Facebook friends. She doesn’t trust the platform and I’m not trying to convince her otherwise. FB is evil, after all. Another couple of friends I mostly email and occasionally text or call. Note: these are dear friends of many years who live hundreds of miles away—so no back yard bbqs or sharing a beer or wine or tea but that would be lovely and our preference but for distance a c the fact that no on e has invented a real life transporter. Or speeder bike. That would also be cool.

But Twitter? I can read a lot from people I respect re: politics. Discussion? Not so much. I certainly don’t have anything g to come tribute while they actually have info and insight. Me? I’ve got opinions but that and a dollar won’t even get you a cup of coffee. I can comment or ask a question and maybe get a response but not usually. It’s not the right place to read in depth analysis for sure.
 

crazyfingers

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No interest in FB.
No interest in Twitter
No interest in anything newer than either.

My work made me create a Linked-In account but I rarely go there and don't post stuff

I will look up "How to..." video's on youtube when I have a fix it problem.
 

ideologyhunter

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Never been on FB. Not once. I lead a double life, as far as my born-again cousins go. There's no way I could unleash my snark about Bible stuff without them catching a whiff, and it's not worth it. With them, I discuss Grandma's chocolate chip cookies from 1964.
Also, I know a former co-worker who's on FB and loads up her page with the most half-witted Trump-conspiracy theory hogwash imaginable (pro-Trump, that is; she's a Maga fanatic to the core, and seething with rage.) Mutual friends have read me some of her posts, and they are so drop-dead stupid that they're more like a species of mental illness. I know if I got on FB that, sooner or later I'd look her up and I just wouldn't restrain myself. Seriously, she's a univ. grad and wherever she went should revoke her diploma.
Staying clear of FB; Zeus knows, I waste enough time online.
 

Tigers!

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My wife has a blog for her on-line business. Made little money through.

it was suggested that she get a FB page for her business. Doubled her Aust. sales in 3 months and increased her overseas sales 5-fold in 4 months. FB has its uses. Blog has not been updated in 3 years.
 

Swammerdami

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I despise Facebook for a large number of reasons, but am under obligation: "You haven't clicked Like on your daughter's post yet!"

If your Internet service is free, then you're not the customer: you're the product. Yes, but Google makes you feel that your wants are being met; with Facebook it is obvious that you're being manipulated.


My wife likes to upload photos without sending notifications to all her Friends. I also wanted to bypass such notifications when checking how Facebook would mash-up a new Profile picture. These are not done easily with the Facebook interface. With Google's help I learned how to do such things; in some cases the only way to bypass Facebook malice is to click the X at window's upper right.


Here in Thailand there are MANY small or medium businesses which do not have a website: They have Facebook pages.

ETA:
"in some cases the only way to bypass Facebook malice is to click the X at window's upper right."
Obviously that's a way to back out of a change-in-progress that you changed your mind about.
But I'm speaking of changes where this X is a necessary part of the procedure!
 
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