Facebook Is Dead For Gen Y; What's Next?
I was a freshman in college in 2004 when Facebook came to my campus.
It was kind of a big deal, to say the least.
The student newspaper published articles speculating when our .edu addresses would be able to unlock Zuckerberg's gates. For a platform designed to help you keep in touch with people you meet, the exclusivity of it to just college students was the main driver.
With more than 800 million members, that's gone.
It's like when your parents sent you that first message on AOL's Instant Messenger. In an instant, it went from a tool to chat with friends to another way for your parents to keep tabs on you.
The minute your mom or uncle or person who you faked being friends with at work because you didn't want to hurt their feelings decided to "friend" you on Facebook, it was over. You couldn't outright reject their invitation without causing serious offline world faux pas and it wasn't really worth adjusting your settings constantly so that you could hide things you only wanted to share with certain people.
The content of what my friends post is dramatically different now than it was seven years ago too -- and it's not just because of maturation. There is a potential for misinterpretation and embarrassment around every corner.
It became too much of a hassle to post much at all.
I'd much rather use Twitter, where -- since my account is public -- I know anyone can access it. The filter of Twitter is public or private -- not silly lists or circles (they aren't that different, Google) that you have to move people back and forth so they see certain updates but not your photos or so they can post on your wall but not see your cell phone number.
Foursquare absolutely nailed it with its new Radar feature because it is passive. I get notifications when I am near locations on lists I follow and I still get the same great notifications when my friends check-in -- should they choose to share it.
Outside of location apps, look at what platforms are booming now. They are about sharing content -- but not necessarily your own content. Pinterest and Fancy are all the rage right now and those platforms let you just share cool stuff you find.
Should you close your brand's Facebook page that targets Gen Y consumers right now? Absolutely not. Right now, having a Facebook Page is the equivalent of having a website -- you don't really have a choice.
What I am suggesting is that you start looking beyond Facebook. It won't last forever, and you need to prepare for what's next.