Are you ready to quit Facebook soon?

Facebook took over the social media world about six years ago, quickly becoming the biggest thing on the Internet. It has remained the “IN” thing for quite a while and the central hub for all social interactions. But now suddenly I see a lot of people leaving Facebook and there is mix of reaction when I hear people talking about it. I was just wondering if tomorrow a Facebook weevil comes (Google+, Twitter, or any other) and screws everything. Am I ready to quit Facebook? Are you ready to quit Facebook? And here is how I started this article and my research.

David A. Ebersman, chief financial officer of Facebook last month acknowledged in a quarterly earnings call that they have noticed a decreasing number of active users. Which indicates users who haven’t deleted their accounts but rarely check their Facebook feed, and this is especially between the ages of 13 to 15 years old. Also, check out the image below-

facebook fading away

There are more than 1.5 Billion users on Facebook today and marketers have a great opportunity to take their products and positioning to the next level. The targeting and avenues that Facebook provides to businesses is really great and no other platform has been this much explored. But in recent years as it can be seen that the company has often completely revamped its interface so to encourage users to stay put to their social platform.

With so many positives why are people still not so active on Facebook? Is this because teens these days find their parents on the platform and are not much comfortable with that? Is Facebook consuming too much time? I thought of 4 things that could be a reason for you also to think over.

1. Facebook is a distraction

People claim that Facebook is a distraction as very often they are seen logging on to Facebook through their smartphone’s it’s like an addiction which is hard to beat. Thus a lot of companies have banned Facebook page and make sure that their employees refrain to use it during office hours. With such a step by companies can a great loss to brands as when would they connect with their users? This reminds us of the saying “Too much of a good thing can be bad”

2. More connections, but they’re shallow

Initially during the inception of Facebook, it use to excite all of us to reconnect with our school friends, college friends, co-workers etc. It was a great place to catch-up with them. But as time went by they just became another contact and nothing more. Similarly brands are facing a similar crisis with their fans just being numbers and not that active! What’s the point of having huge number of followers if you can’t drive engagement.

3. Too manipulative

Not only businesses, users are also a bit upset the way Facebook holds a control over what comes to their newsfeed. Hiding posts from certain friends of mine, just because I haven’t interacted with them much in near past is just not done. Yeah! there is a setting that allows users to see all posts, but not everybody is aware of it. Also, Facebook is not as transparent as they used to be with presenting data, particularly numbers in Facebook Ads section. Initially they gave all the vital stats regarding targeting (like 45,879,345), now it is rounded-off (like 50,000,000).

4. Too Frequent changes

Every time we long on to Facebook something or the other has changed. It is a great initiative to stay updated with changes, but too much of change can really be annoying. The sole reason being when the users get accustomed to the previous changes and log in again, something new happens again. Often it can be seen that the users take to Twitter to rant about their displeasure of the changes about Facebook’s interface. The latest addition being the “Trending” section above news feed, it hasn’t evoked much positive reaction.

We spoke to some Industry experts, and asked their stance on Facebook; see what they said-

lilach on digital insights

Lilach Bullock from Socialable says

In the past few years, Facebook has been slowly losing it’s foothold – both with regular users and with businesses. I think there are several different reasons for this: businesses are complaining because nobody can see their posts, not even if they’re paying for it, and regular users are probably looking for something new, fresh, a social network that their parents and grandparents haven’t heard of yet.

yasamin on digital insightsYasamin Beitollahi, Social Media & Public Relations Advisor says

Though studies show that its popularity has declined among teens who find themselves on other social media platforms like Snapchat, Reddit, Instagram, etc. But, it remains a great platform for advertising your business, building a community, reaching new customers and providing excellent customer service. That is, as long as your customers are also on Facebook and you’re willing to invest the resources necessary to create and maintain an active site.

may wang on digital insightsMay Wang from SmartSiteBlog says

Facebook is an addictive time-wasting platform among all social media. I never get clear on Facebook’s contradictory rules for privacy. It lost its original purpose – only for family and friends.

jonha on digital insightsJonha Revesencio from Rebelmouse says

While Facebook may have been declining in it’s growth, I think the platform will still remain as one of the main key players in the social media space as more and more people and businesses are getting a better understanding of how the platform can bridge conversation and community between brands and its consumers

eric on digital insightsEric Weaver from @IPGMediabrands says

We currently get too much utility from Facebook for it to fade away. Ask yourself this: is Google fading away? How about Apple? “No, in my opinion, Facebook is not fading away for the foreseeable future. It will begin to, however, if the payoff of utility to annoyance wanes. Which isn’t happening.

hadel on digital insightsHadel S. Ma’ayeh from Hadel Social Media says

FB is fading away. I blame it on FB (50%) and Users (50%). FB needs to do more to attract users and current users besides make money off of advertisement. On the other hand, users need to interact. I think most forget Social Media means interaction.

steven on digital insightsSteven Hughes from Dashburst says

It’s losing its charm to people that are selling and marketing. The 65 year old lady from Fort Lauderdale, Florida buying something here and there, could care less about organic or paid advertising.

Penetration to customers and prospects was done organically. Now it’s Pay to Play, and people aren’t happy with that change. Soon we’ll have to pay for water. Wait a second. The negative sentiment is at an all-time high with Facebook. A great time to buy the stock. Don’t follow the herd.

Time will tell Facebook’s turmoil of it fading away or being here for long-run! I personally feel that till the time there is no other platform that has such a huge number of active users and opportunities for businesses, Facebook will stay. But I am just getting ready to quit Facebook anytime, I anyway prefer Twitter over Facebook.

Your turn

I shared the positives, negatives and expert’s advice, so which side of the scale are you tipping towards? “Facebook” or “Less Facebook”? Please do share your insights with us.

A social media and web tech enthusiast. I keep myself busy with building social media strategies, tactics, exploring new platforms and sharing the best of my knowledge online. I like to play basketball and football.

Share your thoughts here!

  • David Gadarian

    Interesting stats Harsh and always good to hear from other experts too. I tend to agree with the perspective that Eric Weaver presented.

    Despite the frequent changes to the algorithm and the push towards pay to play I don’t see FB disappearing anytime soon. In fact quite the opposite as I suspect that if they can crack it, FB has a real shot at actually deepening its relationship with its users – a good example being how they have such a strong role in how we use and SHARE our personal pictures.

    Marketers will need to evolve and yes, perhaps the free seat at the lunch table is over…

    • Harsh Ajmera

      Hi David, I am glad that you liked the stats.
      Like you rightly said, ‘if they can crack it’ I don’t remember anything being cracked after Facebook went public.

    • Weave

      I’d add one more thing, Harsh – the numbers shown are US-only. Do you have any data that show that Indian usage (or global) is on the decline? :)

      • Harsh Ajmera

        Yes, Weave the data is US only.
        Not enough data is available for india/global

  • Ari Herzog

    Heh. And I prefer Facebook over Twitter. I’ve been on the big F since 2005, seen lots of changes; but while Twitter is great for learning, Facebook is great for relationship building.

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  • Gofa Kyoursel

    Okay first of all Facebook has been around a lot longer and been the king of social media a lot longer than 6 years. Second of all you should realize that 42% of Facebook accounts are fake. That is, they’re duplicates and spam accounts. I personally control 7 Facebook accounts.