For a very long time, Facebook was an undisputed champion of social networks. Back when it was created, one of the main competitors was MySpace, but that did not last long. The design and platform features were simply better, and most importantly the user base began to grow. Users are also content when it comes to social networks, so it’s only reasonable that their growth becomes exponential, or more rapid after they reach a certain threshold. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, although still very strong and user rich, Facebook’s popularity is dropping. Here we will go over the factors that could be responsible for this development.
One of the reasons why Facebook is not getting new users, is because there are simply other networks that are more appealing to the new users. People who are more career-oriented are likely to use their LinkedIn more, those who want to browse images go to Instagram and Pinterest, and those that want to be influencers or attractive models also use Instagram and YouTube.
Too many Ads
The content on Facebook is dominated by sponsored posts, this diminishes quality user experience, so they opt for those other platforms that are not as ad-heavy. However, more and more communication or social apps are emerging, so these migrations might be more frequent. After all social networks are businesses, and they want to secure financial growth, so as their user base grows more people want to promote their products there, and more ads appear, which results in people leaving to other social networks and so on.
One of the main reasons for Facebook’s fall from grace is the loss of trust. Users don’t want to be treated like the product, and the whole information sharing business feels like a serious invasion of privacy. As mentioned business usually has profit as its top priority, which means their policies and code of conduct can be dictated by stakeholders. Because many sites generate revenue by selling information about user activity, businesses like VPN started to grow, as they are one of the best and convenient ways to protect privacy.
Facebook also bought Whatsapp, which means that Whatsapp users are now forced to comply with Facebook’s terms of service and information sharing policy. This once again resulted in a lot of users leaving to other similar apps, like Signal and Telegram. In other words, people specifically have problems with this approach and are more informed nowadays than a few years back.
Finally, people are pretty divided when it comes to politics, so once the arguments or actions of one company become political in nature the users who don’t agree with them are likely to leave. Many social networks took a political stand against Donald Trump, and that irritated a lot of his supporters, so it’s quite obvious why users are turning their back on them.