It’s easy to wish Facebook was dead. There are many companies and many players that would love to see Facebook go under. The reasons for these people to hate Facebook is as limitless as your imagination. Some people don’t like Facebook because they think it encourages narcissistic behavior, others don’t like Facebook because it’s a productivity killer, even other don’t like Facebook because of Facebooks many scenes against personal privacy. Regardless of whatever acts you have to grind against Facebook, there may be good news for you. Facebooks seemingly invincible content and traffic strategy is starting to show some cracks. However, if you are waiting for Facebook to die overnight, you’re going to have to wait a long time. Facebook is not going to give up the fight that easily nor are these forces so powerful currently that they can wipe out Facebook tomorrow. Regardless, these are dangerous trends specially if you are holding Facebook stock and you’d like the value of your shares to go up even higher.
What are these threats? First of all, there’s a demographic shift. In a study based in the United Kingdom, more and more young people are turned off by Facebook. what is their turn of? First of all, it’s not mobile enough. They’d rather use Instagram and other mobile applications. The second reason that they are turned of is that Facebbok has become rightly or wrongly equated with older generation. In other words, it’s no longer cool. In the minds of this demographics, if their parents use Facebook then there’s something wrong with Facebook. So the work around to this problem according to some industry observers is that, sure, tweens and the next generation of teens may not warm up to Facebook, however, once they become older and they’re in high school or they’re in college, they will warm up to Facebook eventually because Facebook is well represented in this older demographics. As you can tell from this demographic shift, this is not enough to wear Facebook’s dominance down. The bigger threat is niche competition. People share all sorts of information on Facebook. The Facebook share button is a very powerful tool for products, services, or ideas. It can get revolutions started. You don’t believe me? Just look at the Arab spring and see how it started. That’s how powerful sharing information on Facebook is. Well, an increasing number of people are no longer using Facebook to share information. Instead, they prefer niche websites to get their targeted information from and share that through Facebook. So instead of Facebook being the original point of sharing, Facebook becomes more of the medium. In other words, people just share the link through Facebook after they found the link through a niche website. If these niche websites evolve to a high enough level where they can sustain their own niche sharing channels, then, this can post serious problems for Facebook.
Messenger app, in my estimate, is the biggest threat to Facebook. People use Facebook to communicate. Unfortunately for Facebook, there are more efficient ways and more immediate ways to communicate using apps like Whatsapp or Wechat or Line or Viber. There are just so many ways you can communicate with your friends without having to go through Facebook. How big of a threat do these apps post? Whatsapp has 300+ million users, Wechat has 400 million users, Viber has 200 million users. Moreover, mobile chat apps like Viber has a distinct advantage. It allows you to by-pass local toll or messaging charges. Quite a very big advantage. So, this is going to syphon quite a bit of users from Facebook. Be that as it may, Facebook still has so many other belts and whistles that this may not be enough. Sure, you can use a chat app if you feel like chatting or sending text messages but there’s more to do on Facebook. So on the whole, while Facebooks total number of content and media sharing is going down, it’s still too early to tell if these trends will persist. Be that as it may, Facebooks ad revenues better spike up soon for it to justify its stock price or else we may be in for a brave new world in the near future when it comes to social media.