Facebook is the largest online social network in history with more than 1.1 billion users in the world, with well over two million in Kenya, turned 10 years old in February but reports indicate that the social media giant is facing a decline.
Research by two doctoral candidates in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, has predicted that by 2017 the social network will lose 80 percent of its users.
Despite its shares rising to a new high of $58.51 (Sh4,973.35), Facebook fans have been migrating to other sites such as Twitter, Instagram and smartphone based apps like Whatsapp, Snapchat & Kik Messenger which are grabbing the attention of youngsters. Data usage has been gradually reducing with activities in the social network dwindling.
FACEBOOK USERS GETTING OLDER
The reason of its decline could be that older people are joining the site (the oldest Facebook user is a 106 year old lady from California, USA!) and research indicates that the average age of Facebook users is now at 41 years old. This is pushing out youngsters who are perhaps uncomfortable with interacting with their parents, uncles or aunties on the social media platform where most of them would let their hair down and express themselves more openly.
Whether it’s a fact or not that Facebook will in the near future decline (and the study has come under attack – see ‘Facebook: Reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated’), only time will tell. But it’s something maybe the social media giants should consider looking into and find ways to keep on transforming themselves so as to stay relevant in the market and avoid similar fate as Myspace.