Facebook wants young people back


National

“We are retooling our teams to make serving young adults a North Star rather than improving it for more seniors.”

Mark Zuckerberg said he revealed his plans to Facebook in a conference call on Monday. (Shira Inbar/The New York Times)

On Monday, the public got a glimpse of Mark Zuckerberg’s fear of it Facebook social networking site It may fade away and become irrelevant.

On a conference call to discuss Facebook’s financial results, Zuckerberg said he plans to overhaul the company to make its apps more attractive to people under the age of 30. More elderly people. He added that making this transition would take years.

A lot of organizations are obsessed with keeping in touch with the young and cool, so this announcement probably came as no surprise. And Zuckerberg, who always seems to be worried about him Something, He has a habit of making bold statements about Facebook’s priorities that sometimes turn into talk.

The truth is that Facebook has been losing popularity among young people for years, but it didn’t really matter. The company was attracting more users overall and making a lot of money. It has been adapted to attract young people, including by purchase Instagram Nine years ago and copy features snap chat And tik tok.

Zuckerberg’s comment, as well as recent reports by New York timesAnd Bloomberg, et al, this time may be different. The dread seems to lurk within Facebook, including in Zuckerberg’s corner office, where the social media giant must transform itself from the inside out to attract younger users — with the implication of “otherwise”.

Zuckerberg knows all too well that the dominant companies in tech don’t tend to stay that way for long. The edit I outline raises the question: Is Zuckerberg concerned that a lack of interest from young people will make for a long-running prediction by tech watchers that the company is doomed to become inevitable?

Let’s see what happens. Facebook may be able to rise to the challenge again and win over the youth. (Enter the meme, “How are you kids?”)

Facebook executives on Monday did not describe a grand plan to win back youth. They’ve talked vaguely about more focus on Reels, the Instagram thriller on TikTok, and about Zuckerberg’s recent VR installation and “metaverse.”

A small part of my brain also wonders if Zuckerberg’s flash of fear on Monday was aimed at portraying Facebook as a terrifying weakling rather than the unbeatable internet star his critics say. As my Times colleague Kevin Roose wrote, Facebook can be a dominant force and fearful about its future.

And as much as the company seems to care about young people who use Instagram, Facebook and their other products, it can stay rich for a very long time without them.

The most important factor in Facebook’s financial success is its ability to gather a lot of information about what people – most of us in the US and other wealthy countries – do online and then harness that data to help companies sell us pajamas more effectively, and save files. Cabinets or applications. Young people can flee in droves, and Facebook will continue to make that ad money, at least for a very long time. As we saw from its earnings statement on Monday, Facebook is good at making money.

But the company’s internal deliberations about youth may be among the most important artifacts in a packet of Facebook communications and documents that Frances Hogan, a former Facebook product manager, has compiled.

Reporting of these documents and other company discussions show that Facebook is concerned that teens are spending less time on Instagram this year, that its user base is aging rapidly and that young people who like Instagram are not attracted to the Facebook app as they get older. But seeing anxiety in private deliberations between affiliates or a marketing document is one thing. Zuckerberg sounding the alarm in public is a whole different level.
This article originally appeared in New York times.

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