August 12, 2013

A 13 year old says "Facebook is losing teens lately, and I think I know why."

"It wasn’t the Facebook it was when I was seven."
It got complicated — it was just kind of like, "We liked it the way it was. Why are you changing it?" it was just kind of like, "We liked it the way it was. Why are you changing it?"
Remember when "change" was the watchword of the young?

Via Metafilter, where somebody says:
Oh my god this is good but I just can't help chuckling at her repeated references to "a facebook." I think she and her grandmother have more common ground than she imagines.
And, quoting the teenager's last line (in italics):
I love Facebook, really I do. I hope they can make a comeback and appeal to my peers. I think it's a great idea for a website, and I wish Facebook the best of luck.

I know this wasn't necessarily meant as a big 'and to close, fuck you, Zuckerberg" but it sure is fun to read it that way.
Facebook's destiny is to be AOL. That is the ultimate end of all walled gardens.


Michael K said...

The paid ads are really annoying. I subscribe to keep track of my kids. If they should move, I'm gone.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

My understanding is that you can't get a Facebook account unless you are 13 or older. Exactly how has this kid been watching the decline of Facebook for these six years when she couldn't participate?

tim maguire said...

Obsolescence was inevitable from the moment Zuckerberg conceived of Friendster 3.0. It's only a matter of time before someone comes out with Friendster 4.0.

Zuckerberg may not be billionaire rich for very long, but he will always be fabulously rich (unless he makes the mistake of believing his own hype).

Carl said...

It's a mistake to think the taste of 12-year-olds necessarily foreshadows the mainstream in twenty years. Were it otherwise, business power lunches today would feature Happy Meals, or at least small plastic surprises, and whiskey distillers would have gone out of business centuries ago.

I'm always mystified by the whole line of argument that extrapolates the attitudes of tomorrow's 40-year-olds from today's 20-year-olds. As if human beings crystallized in their youth, and never changed thereafter.

Weirder still, the very same people will often argue that there is a justifiably big market in self-help books and voyages of discovery for 60-year-olds, 'cause, you know, you're never too old to learn. Yet another logical consistency checksum error.

Zach said...

Why would a teen need Facebook? They see all their friends every day.

The appeal of Facebook from my perspective is that you can see life updates from people you would otherwise completely lose contact with. Not a killer app when you're 13, but after going to college, to grad school, and moving around a couple of times, the friends you've left behind start to add up.

Kelly said...

My fifteen year old is over Facebook. She is on vine or instagram. Have you checked out Vine? There are some really hilarious, creative Vines.

Gahrie said...

It's the same fate as myspace. First adopted by college kids, moves into the mainstream, becomes co-opted by pre-teens, eventually becomes irrelevant.

ken in sc said...

Most young people lie about their age on Facebook; however she is right. Every time they 'improve' Facebook, it gets worse. This is also what Myspace did.

Tibore said...

"Facebook's destiny is to be AOL. That is the ultimate end of all walled gardens."

That's Facebook's hubris: They didn't think in terms of creating a walled garden, they thought in terms of creating their own little corner of the internet and changing the way people used it to socialize. Unfortunately, the speed at which things change means that their vision went from all encompassing to merely being another lot on the grounds. Hence the walls: They didn't even realize they were putting them up, they just got caught in midstride by how the internet evolved and suddenly found the things defining them to be boundaries instead of descriptions.

Hobbesian evolution at work. Life for an internet service is far from poor and the opposite of solitary, but it IS nasty, brutish, and short.

Eric said...

Facebook will really have to mess things up before they get overtaken. Social networking sites benefit from the network effect - the more people that are on it, the more useful it is to you independent of the actual software quality.

Victoria Griffin said...

I can remember when talking with friends overseas was a big deal, not something you do when you're bored in the car. I was dumbfounded the day I looked over in the passenger seat and realized my son was messaging on Facebook with a friend in Mexico.

He's also got friends in Ireland and all over the US that he stays in touch with regularly.

Teens don't see all their friends everyday, because now, when a friend moves or changes schools, they don't drop off the face of the earth. I don't see that changing, but Facebook is not the only game in town.

Sigivald said...

Ken said: Every time they 'improve' Facebook, it gets worse.

Oddly, that is exactly not my experience.

The filtering, for instance, has radically improved lately - I can not only just "hide posts from $friend", but now I can do the even more useful thing of "hide posts from $site".

So I can see $friend's posts about their cat and their social life, but not have to see their infuriatingly stupid shares of propaganda from whatever the current hot Progressive propaganda outlet is.

(Now, Facebook has made pointless changes it then rolled back, like Timeline.

Facebook is (or has been, at least) terrible at internal testing and trials, rather than just rolling out random crap...)

Unknown said...

Sorry, but to see Facebook as the website that you go to see what your cousin had for breakfast is pretty limited and even myopic. To see why, think about all of the sites that you visit that use Facebook to login.
This article has some numbers that show that Facebook's value is more about its security footprint through application authorization schemes (via oAuth).

It is in fact the opposite of a walled garden, though how they continue to monetize those links is a big question mark.