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.

What's Next?

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.

6 comments about "Facebook Is Dead For Gen Y; What's Next?".
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  1. Tracy Hill from T. Hill Group, November 18, 2011 at 9:40 a.m.

    I received a text from my mom on my cell phone. Think I'll throw it away now!

  2. Tracy Hill from T. Hill Group, November 18, 2011 at 9:55 a.m.

    If Facebook was "over," think Gen Ys would have rushed to Google+. Although it's always great to look toward the future, I don't see anything statistically that shows Facebook is dead with Gen Y. If you tell me they are less likely to share brand messaging, connect with brands, etc., that's more believable to me, because there is evidence to support it.

  3. Patrick Evans from STA Travel, November 18, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.

    Hi Tracy -

    Thanks for reading. I don't think it is a zero sum game between Facebook and Google+. Right now, they offer essentially the same features. And as I put in the article, I'm not saying Gen Y isn't on Facebook, the group just isn't as enamored with the platform anymore.


  4. Brad Stewart from Adjoy, November 18, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.

    Hey Patrick! Thanks for the head's up on pinterest and thefancy. Sticky, engaging, interesting, and frictionless sites. Beautiful that both these sites are "content first" networks, where I can see what others are sharing right away, without having any "friends". I can see why they are gaining momentum. Cheers for keeping an old guy in the loop.

  5. Carolyn Goodman from Goodman Marketing Partners, November 18, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.

    My 20-yr old son was home from college a few weeks ago and declared "I think I'm going to give up my Facebook account." I was stunned. Why? Because it was "too much work staying on top of everything." A sign of the fast-paced, over-stimulated times or a sign of maturity? You decide.

  6. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, November 18, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.

    I have been saying this FOR TWO YEARS! About time people woke up!

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