Facebook revolutionized the world by changing the way people communicate. With over two billion users, it’s now the world’s largest social network. But since 2014, Facebook has been the victim of a troubling pattern: declining reach among its younger audience.
The social network has become a place for parents and grandparents to share their pictures, jokes and inspirational quotes. And for me, an adult at 23, it’s where I get my memes — yet teens don’t seem to find any fun in this. But that doesn’t mean Facebook hast lost its value, in fact, over the years it’s only become more ingrained in society.
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According to Pew Research, “Overall, Facebook outstrips all other social media sites as a source of news; YouTube now reaches second highest percentage.” By combining a variety of posts in its Newsfeed, the company manages to facilitate keeping users informed as well as being updated with their friends and family.
Facebook also still clearly has an impact on public opinion. The 2016 US elections are the finest example. Due to fake news and other influence spread on the social network, Russian propaganda influenced 126 million Americans through posts.
The social network was used as a way of tricking users into reading news or liking pages in order to spread incorrect information about political leaders in question. Now, Mark Zuckerberg and his team are being forced to take careful steps to amend the chaos caused by this.
There’s also Facebook Live. Yes, Instagram has its Live and Periscope on Twitter, but for many political and famous figures, brands and media outlets, Live is a way of connecting with audiences at a personal level — and this includes people of all ages.
The wide range of users grants the opportunity for figures to connect with fans and clients on a personal level. Earlier this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared that “one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast — and over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x.”
And although we may not go on Facebook so much, it’s is still onto us. Whether it’s Instagram or Whatsapp, the things we can and cannot do are decided by the big one.
Messenger, the Facebook messaging app and Whatsapp are the two most used mobile messenger apps worldwide. And not to mention the immediacy when in times of crisis with its Safety Check when there are natural or terrorist crises anywhere in the world.
So although we may not share as much on Facebook and feel we use other social media more, it still has an impact and important voice on society. MySpace, High5, Bebo and Friendster are in the past — but Facebook lives on.