Home > Social networks > The future of Facebook: will people get bored of it?

The future of Facebook: will people get bored of it?

Nowadays, the massive use of social networks is creating the need of a continuous dependence to it. As can be seen in the statistics of Facebook’s business site, it has “More than 800 million active users” worldwide; it is an absolute successful phenomena, which is gaining even more followers in the last year. For instance, according to a recent research, run by Mary Madden and Kathryn Zickuhr, the amount of social media adult-users has grown significantly in the last year: “(…) among the Boomer-aged segment of internet users ages 50-64, social networking site usage on a typical day grew a significant 60% (from 20% to 32%)”. Hence, ones seen how powerful and popular has the use of social media become, could we think of a future end to them?

First of all, let’s analyze why Facebook appears to be so attractive to all sort people. Darko Johnson wrote an article in which included some different opinions from different psychologist, who explained some of the reasons why we find Facebook so interesting and “useful”. Some main ideas can be underlined:

  1.  Tony Schwarz: ” (…) Another need is […] the need for self-expression. Facebook allows us to do just that almost everywhere on the site. We can ‘like’ things and comment on almost everything (pictures, status updates, other comments, group and page discussions etc).”
  2. “Adam N. Johnson from the University of Bath released a study on the motives of using Facebook. He discovered that one of the main reasons for using this site was reconnecting/keeping in touch with friends. Nothing surprising here. But what happens AFTER that? How do people use the site AFTER they find their friends on Facebook? The study suggests that they then do 4 main activities:
    • Use apps to interact with their network of friends
    • See their friends’ friends profiles wanting to learn more about those people
    • Join groups to express their identity
    • Read news/ keep with other people’s actions”.
Up to this there’s nothing specially new we didn’t know yet. Therefore, my main question is: is people getting tired of using social networks? Have they stopped being fresh and innovative? Are there any other websites more trendy? In an article published on The Atlantic wire, Adam Clark Estes added the following lines: “A new theory about the fate of Facebook is floating around the internet. Mike Elgan says it best: ‘Don’t look now, but Facebook is quickly becoming the new Yahoo.’ And he doesn’t mean that as a compliment.” And, in addition to what Elgan said we have this daring statement:
“Yahoo has no vision. It has no purpose. It’s dispensable. Yahoo continues like a zombie, animated by the life it once had. And that’s what Facebook is becoming. Yes, they’ll continue to have users. And yes, they’ll continue to make money. But Facebook is looking increasingly like a one-trick pony that doesn’t have the vision to reinvent itself for the post-Facebook era.”

Consequently, it looks like Facebook is becoming a “check-out site”, which means ‘logging in-having a quick look-logging out’; people is starting using it as an e-mail webpage more than to what initially was created: to be in last-minute connection with the rest of the world. And about whether the words of Elgan will come true or not, just time will tell.

References:
  1. Facebook’s statistics: http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
  2. Article on Pew Internet called “65% of online adults use social networking sites” written by Mary Madden and  Kathryn Zickuhr, published on 26/08/2011. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-Networking-Sites.aspx
  3. Post on Social Times called “What Can Psychology Tell Us About Why People Go To Facebook?” written by Darko Johnson, published on 08/11/2010, 12 PM. http://socialtimes.com/what-can-psychology-tell-us-about-why-people-go-to-facebook_b27531
  4. Article on The Atlantic wire called “Facebook’s Newest Problem: Being Boring” written by Adam Clark Estes, published on 16/09/2011. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/09/facebooks-newest-challenge-being-boring/42595/
Categories: Social networks
  1. January 4, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Facebook’s popularity nowadays seems to be unbeatable, and new generations are growing up with a computer on their hands, so, I don’t think that it will get old-fashioned.
    Good topic Kevin!

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