Facebook started as a college student sharing site. It was new. It was edgy. It was young. It was better than MySpace. Now your mom, dad, and grandma are already your ‘friends’. That’s not cool according to some young people. Young people are jumping ship for Snapchat and Tumblr. Those social media networks are not usually frequented by parents.
The changes unveiled Thursday are an attempt to address complaints that Facebook’s hub — the News Feed — is degenerating into a jumble of monotonous musings and disjointed pictures. This has come as users’ social circles have widened from a few dozen people to an unwieldy assortment of friends, family, businesses, celebrities, co-workers and fleeting acquaintances.
Time published a story about Facebook’s ebbing appeal. A number of teens were interviewed:
Other sites, like the microblogging site Tumblr, offer more opportunity for creative expression with less prying parental eyes. “The reason we like it so much is because not everyone has one,” Steed says of Tumblr, which is very popular among girls at her high school. “You can almost disguise yourself. Not everyone’s on there, not everyone’s stalking you.” Snapchat, meanwhile, offers spontaneity and instant gratification, though one student said it’s more of a game than a legitimate Facebook alternative.
The new features will start rolling out in the next few weeks. A select group of users are currently testing the new News Feed. If you are interested in the new features, Mashable has a good review.
With 1 billion users, Facebook proudly proclaims their global reach. But, Facebook wants to make money. And that may not be cool for young users. One way Facebook will make money is with inserting ads that look like pictures in your feed:
Zuckerberg explained during his brief remarks at the announcement, Facebook’s users love photos so much that photo posts now take up some 50 percent of the current News Feed. It’s a smart trick, making the ads look like photos posts in the new feed. Because not only do Facebook users look at photos and post photos more than they do anything else on Facebook, but the giant images also happen to increase the most engagement, a source told AllthingsD’s Mike Issac.
However, some think that Facebook could crash. Bianca Bosk the Executive Tech Editor at The Huffington Post, thinks Facebook could be growing towards its end:
Social media researchers have long warned that Facebook users may be turned off by the site’s “context collapse,” with a person’s disparate social circles melded into a single audience of “friends.” The latest incarnation of News Feed suggests users, and Facebook, should be wary of a related phenomenon: the content collapse.
It seems Facebook’s coolness factor is going down while trying to keep the profits up. It’s hard to stay cool when your goal is to make money in the tech world.