Facebook was founded in 2004 as a social media platform for college students.
But soon it moved beyond campuses and swept the world with its ability to reconnect people in their own town or across the world.
Facebook ushered in a new era of social media, where people could post about important political movements or what they ate for dinner.
But has facebook run its course? Is it a victim of its own success?
According to Barbara E. Hernandez, many have been predicting Facebook's demise for years.
They cite the lack of interest by younger people and the new pay-to-promote ads and stories.
Hernandez contends that the evidence may be anecdotal, but many say that there is evidence of a larger trend of people leaving Facebook for various reasons.
Users Are Moving On
- First World Users Leaving
According to The Guardian, Facebook has lost 10 million United States users in the past year. Data from Nielsen also indicated that there was no increase in users from the United Kingdom.
Despite these losses, Facebook posted a first quarter profit for 2013.
Facebook's growth seems to be focused currently in poorer nations where advertising revenue is not as high. If the trend continues, Facebook's profit will decrease because advertisers will move on.
- Teens Not Joining
Many teenagers are saying they are tired of Facebook. According to Victor Luckerson of Time Magazine, many younger users are finding the platform less useful in their lives due to the diversity of their experiences and their need to compartmentalize.
Having a separate social life, family life, and work life is harder when you have a Facebook acocunt. It's not easy to figure out how to share certain pictures with one group and not another.
So aunts, uncles, grandparents who would otherwise not be aware of certain activities. may now see party pictures that someone posts and tags of the Facebook user. These may be pictures the user does not wish to share.
But an even more prominent reason is teenager's preferences for mobile devices over PC.
- Smartphone Apps
Users are switching from PC to mobile devices and are looking for a platform that is more intuitive for that.
Apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp offer a more user friendly experience since the apps were designed for mobile devices. Snapchat also offers the appeal of leaving less of a social footprint than Facebook.
While Facebook does have a mobile app, many find the device less friendly and not as robust.
For example, the Facebook app lacks the ability to perform many functions that can be performed on a PC such as editing and deleting.
The Constant Changes
Anyone who has been on Facebook for any amount of time will tell you that changes seem to roll out often.
The changes cause frustration and confusion for many users and include new layouts, navigation, promotions, newsfeed and messaging alterations.
While Facebook has many reasons for their changes including competition for advertiser dollars, and competing with Twitter and Google+, the changes often come at the price of user anger and confusion.
The average user perceives the focus of Facebook shifting away from the user experience and towards focus on paid promotions and advertisements.
Facebook Privacy Quiz: How Private Is Facebook?
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- True or False: Facebook employees may read your private messages.
- True or False: You can't completely opt out of Facebook searches by strangers.
- True or False: Facebook does not target users for specific advertisements.
- True or False: In February 2013 a privacy flaw gave hackers access to all Facebook users information.
- True or False: You can't create private groups in Facebook.
One of the biggest recent Facebook changes has been paid-to-promote stories and using products or companies that users like to advertise to their friends.
These stories become part of a users newsfeed and can seem like posts from friends.
Advertisers can pay to promote products and services within the newsfeed, even making them appear to be recommended pages or articles from friends.
Changes also cause user settings to change. Posts that a users expects to be private or seen by a select group of people are suddenly broadcast to a much broader audience because of updated settings.
The changes and settings seem to be made hard to control on purpose in order to confuse the average user and trick them into making their posts more public.
Is Facebook Going Away Soon?
The short answer is no. Facebook will not be going away any time soon.
Even if it becomes less popular over time, there are millions of people who use the social platform on a daily basis.
Sam Laird notes that many analysts predict that Facebook will become irrelevant by 2020.
While lack of relevancy is different from extinction, Facebook's decline will leave room for the next big technology.
Facebook will likely exist, in some form for many decades to come. But its power and influence is changing and is likely to never again achieve the excitement and popularity it once had.
While Facebook may have helped to change the face of social networking, the very changes it helpled to usher in are now working against it.
As smart phone technology developed, users wanted to be able to take their social networking with them.
Facebook was slow to react and this made room for new apps specifically designed for mobile devices.
Facebook is unlikely to go away completely but many believe that the writing is on the wall.
Do you think Facebook is less relevant? Leave your Facebook thoughts here.
Henry on November 26, 2013:
sooner or later everyone has to take off their dancing shoes.
John Coviello from New Jersey on August 12, 2013:
Myspace never caught on like Facebook did. Yeah, Myspace was popular with school age kids at one time, but it never caught on with adults like Facebook has. If it did, it probably would have made Facebook's rise a lot harder.
L C David (author) from Florida on August 12, 2013:
Different technology, different time. I think that this death will be much slower though. What do you think?
Bob Low on August 11, 2013:
So how come Myspace didn't last 'decades'?
L C David (author) from Florida on May 22, 2013:
I'm right with you! Facebook may have been their own worst enemy in terms of making changes no on wanted. Thanks for your thoughts.
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 22, 2013:
Very good hub. Voted up. I used to frequent FB multiple times daily, however, the frequent changes and privacy concerns caused me to lose interest. Meh. Although I still have an account, I am frustrated with FB and don't check it for days. I don't want to constantly have to relearn "improvements" I didn't ask for and don't need.
L C David (author) from Florida on May 11, 2013:
Thank you so much Glenn. I appreciate the comment and the support!
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on May 11, 2013:
I read your other hub on Facebook also just now. Both hubs are excellent. And in this one you explain the reasons very well why Facebook is losing people. Very informative hub.
Vin Chauhun from Durban on May 11, 2013:
I have created my own private group on FB, the rest of FB i just ignore. I am trying to get most of my FB friends on other platforms, G+, LinkedIn, even hubpages. The thing about FB that really pissed me off was their news feeds. Before, whatever i posted reached many of my friends, not so anymore.
rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on May 08, 2013:
All good things eventually come to an end. I think Facebook's demise is definitely not likely anytime soon but their appeal has definitely shifted for several reasons. Their demographics have changed from its original intent. What used to be a social networking platform for college students is statistically now attracting a primarily female audience 35 years and older. Also, Facebook is not as user centric as they used to be. As time progresses, the shifts are inevitable as new social media platforms are introduced. One thing is for sure, the success of any social media site is based on several different things such as preferences, influences, personal tastes and the current trends. Great post! Thanks for sharing.
Michael Hussy from Dulles, Virginia on May 08, 2013:
I don't think facebook time is over now. Still no. of users is increasing day by day. The only concern is that they have filled the facebook interface with ads. It really irritates sometimes.
L C David (author) from Florida on May 06, 2013:
I think that the time is coming. The replacements for Facebook are popping up everywhere.
Thanks Rock nj and theodoresmrall for stopping by.
John Coviello from New Jersey on May 06, 2013:
I think Facebook is likely in trouble for the same reasons you cited (see my Hub "Is Facebook Dead?"). I have noticed a marked decrease in relevant posts on Facebook and some avid users that have deleted their accounts. Facebook was really cool when I first joined and reconnected with so many old friends, but the novelty wears off over time. In the grand scheme of things, I find it's not all that important to try to keep in touch with old friends, while I try to carry on with my current life. I would probably either go stealth or quit Facebook, if it was not for wanting to keep in touch with a few close friends and wanting to let friends know about my online writing.
Facebook's main advantage over competitors is their dominance. If they ever lose their dominance and people have other choices to connect with the people they really want to connect with, then Facebook could unravel quickly.
L C David (author) from Florida on May 05, 2013:
I know what you mean bridalletter. It gets tiresome having to try to go in and reset everything to make it private every time there is a change.
After the last few changes I've found that I'm on less often as well.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate it!
Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on May 05, 2013:
Very interesting discussion about Facebook. I know I use it a lot less. Some changes I strongly disliked. One is when it let's everyone know what you are doing all the time, like playing any games. It truly isn't my favorite social network either. Very much towards the bottom of my list. I enjoy hubpages so much more, there is a lot of value and enjoyment here.
L C David (author) from Florida on May 05, 2013:
Just Ask Susan,
I had the same experience. I did not know about the "other" message box until recently and discovered messages from years back that I had missed. I don't consider myself completely inept when it comes to computers so I found that to be another example of how frustrating the changes and interface of Facebook can be.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on May 05, 2013:
The other day I was made aware FB messages having 2 separate files. There the normal one and then the other called "Other". I'm not really sure how long these 2 files have been there but I did have a few emails in the "Other" file that should have been answered months ago.
I like FB and have been using it for years. There have been some changes to the site that I don't like but I get used to the changes and roll with them.
Very interesting hub. Voting up +++ and sharing.