This is a question I get asked by clients, family and friends a LOT. The answer is technically yes, it is. Here’s an interesting (albeit slightly morbid) fact – nearly 8000 Facebook users die daily, and by the end of this century, Facebook will become the world’s biggest virtual graveyard as there will be more profiles of dead people than of living users.
But in all seriousness – in the context of “Is Facebook going to become redundant?” the answer is most definitely not.
It is however, a valid question – after all, it’s no secret that Facebook users are becoming far more switched on about how their data is used. Since April 2018 – the first full month after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke – actions on Facebook such as likes, shares and posts dropped by almost 20%, according to the business analytics firm Mixpanel.
At the same time, Facebook’s own statistics show increases in daily and monthly active users – so which should we believe?
Though the two stats may contradictory, what this actually suggests is that although less users have deleted/deactivated their Facebook accounts, many have reduced their usage. This is backed up by recent research from eMarketer, who have reported that the typical US Facebook user spent 38 minutes a day on the site, down from 41 minutes in 2017.
Users may well decide to invest their time elsewhere – indeed, Facebook continues to lose younger users to other platforms – but it’s important to remember that the Facebook powerhouse spreads far beyond the app itself. Whilst users shift to the “cooler” Instagram app (over 500 million users use the app every day, and it now has over 1 billion monthly active users) they remain, alongside WhatsApp and Oculus users, firmly within the Facebook family.
And just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get any bigger, out comes Libra – the new cryptocurrency unveiled earlier this month. The concept is staggeringly ambitious; the idea is to create a new currency that is guaranteed to be accepted in almost every country, a feat only currently achieved by the US dollar. At launch, this means users can send Libra inside of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp – a PayPal for everyone, if you will.
All the while, brands continue to revel in DPA (dynamic product ad) heaven, where they can hyper target users through every stage of the conversion funnel. This is a win win for everyone – brands ensure a higher ROI, and users are served highly relevant ads for products and services that they actually want. (ASOS, I am firmly and forever in your clutch).
There’s no denying it’s been a rocky period for Zuckerberg’s baby – and as the platform approaches its sixteenth birthday, I think we can expect a much more stable run. It might not always be the Facebook we were once used to – but it will be a long time coming before we see the final nail in Facebook’s coffin.