This past week, the Facebook buzz is that teens are leaving the social site for other sites. It seems as though Facebook has matured enough that the young ones will finally leave. This is the chance Facebook needs to actually become a better social site.
The internet is quick to forget that Facebook started as a social site for college students. College students may be a young crowd, yet it shows that the focus of Facebook was to create a social site for a mildly matured user base.
When social sites started, MySpace was the most popular. MySpace became the online playground for teenagers. Just like a used schoolyard, MySpace became ugly. The site had too much freedom and not enough structure to fully be social. All it became was a place to post what you wanted and have people stop by to leave a comment.
Facebook was more than MySpace. Facebook added and improved on the social part of the internet. Instead of having to visit user’s profiles, the updates were shown as soon as you logged into the site. It was a great way to learn what was going on and how a user could interact.
When the teenagers realized they destroyed their online playground, they revolted against MySpace and herded over to Facebook. A site that was meant to be used by mature adults was now invaded by teenagers. The problem with that is that teenager wanted to used Facebook in the same manner that they used MySpace. Facebook kept the content nice and neat, but the posts by teenagers was still childish.
The internet gives a hefty amount of clout to teenagers when it comes to measuring the popularity of social sites. For a certain time, this was done with reason. Teenagers and young adults are usually the most social and they are also the most technically inclined. Social sites are still rather young. Social sites have only been around for 10 years. Most adults find it hard to understand computers and how to use social sites.
Recently, things have become easier for adults. The focus of Facebook has been ease of use. Facebook’s mobile app has become easier to use. Mobile devices have become easier to use as well. With devices and computer becoming more of the norm, adults who once balked at new technology are now embracing it. Adults are finally bringing maturity to Facebook. It is starting to push teenagers away from Facebook.
Teenagers do not want their parents on Facebook. They do not want their parents commenting on their posts or photos. Some parents are over sharing and then tagging their children. Teenagers are in a rush to escape to another site. They have moved over to Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Those are sites that they feel safe at because adults have not invaded them yet.
Now, a surge of older users are logging into Facebook. Recently, Facebook has seen 41 percent rise in users between the ages of 35 and 54. Also, there is also an 80 percent rise in users over the age of 55. These users are understanding how to post, change their profile picture, and post photos with ease. As adults, it gives them enough to share what they want to. Facebook is not overcomplicated.
As the youth moves on to other sites, Facebook is starting to really mature into a site more adults can actually use again. It is easy to see that the sophistication of the site is a big reason why the younger crowd is moving on. The young ones want to throw their ideas and creativity on a wall. They do not want their ideas and creativity neatly placed in folders.
The young crowd does not realize that the invasion of Facebook by adults is not the end. Facebook will get the older crowd used to posting and sharing. After that, the older crowd will easily move on to other sites. Then, the cycle will start all over again.
Facebook never fell under the spell of teenagers and young users. Facebook’s maturity finally matches the age of its users. The internet is finally finding a voice for every age group. Adults can have their space to communicate and the young ones can pout on their side of the fence.
Opinion by Raul Hernandez