May 10, 2017 @ 12:00am

social media

More and more people are questioning their use of Facebook in the wake of Cambridge Analytics scandal, but looking ahead, will that continue to be the case?

Despite an initial #DeleteFacebook movement that saw hundreds of users remove their profiles (including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak), some experts think Facebook will remain secure atop the social media pyramid. “The early social data gives us no indication that Facebook will lose any meaningful number of users or engagement from this scandal,” Andy Swann, founder of LikeFolio, writes in a Forbes article.

However, that doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t have a lot of ground to make up among its users, and advertisers. Most recently, Facebook has moved to re-establish some credibility by requiring marketers to guarantee any email address they target via a custom audience has been rightly attained, meaning the owners of those email accounts have consented to be part of these targeting efforts. In the coming weeks, it’s safe to assume marketers and advertisers will start to see similar initiatives pop up in their account settings.

The Stats

In June 2017, Facebook hit a massive milestone – 2 billion active users. According to the Washington Post, “Facebook has more adherents than any religion in the world, with the exception of Christianity – which it’s poised to overtake in just a few years.” 

What makes this number even more impressive is when you compare Facebook’s population to other social media platforms. Data collected from January 2018 shows that the number two most active social networking site after Facebook is YouTube with 1.5 billion users and number three is a tie between WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with 1.3 billion active users each. Both platforms are owned by, you guessed it, Facebook. Instagram, another Facebook property, is in the seventh spot with 800 million active users, and rival Twitter comes in at number eleven with 330 million active users.

Finding Inspiration in Other Platforms

While some might say Millennials are leaving Facebook and flocking to SnapChat, the numbers make it hard to believe that’s true. In the five years since SnapChat launched, it has amassed 255 million active users (down from 300 million active users in January 2017).

What seems more likely is they have accounts on both platforms, but are casual users of Facebook, meaning they log in enough times to be called “active” users, but don’t spend more than a few minutes looking through their news feeds and wishing their friends a happy birthday. In contrast, when they hop over to SnapChat, they are actively creating fun content to share with their friends. Whatever the case, Facebook has been taking notice.

With the latest launch of new features that eerily resemble SnapChat’s key properties, such as filters, effects and vanishing stories, it’s clear Facebook is not above borrowing ideas from competitors. Whether these new features will bring more active users back to Facebook (and keep them dedicated to Facebook) remains to be seen. Regardless, if Facebook wants to maintain its relationship with Millennials, offering fun and engaging content is crucial for its survival into the next generation.

Should Your Brand Maintain a Presence on Facebook?

The short answer is yes. While there will most likely be new rules in place to ensure privacy is being protected, advertisers would still be hard pressed to find a better platform to reach their target audiences.

With over two billion active users from all over the world, Facebook has proven that it has staying power. Even though its latest features are borrowed from its competitors, it shows that Facebook is willing to be agile and add new features to accommodate its audience, while still maintaining its relationships with older demographics. 

Facebook is the mother of social media, and regardless of what your teens say, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Building and maintaining a presence on Facebook is now considered industry-standard. So, while your brand may decide to branch out and try other social media platforms, Facebook will always be there to hold down the fort.


About the author: Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith has been the Dynamic Social Innovator at 6AM Marketing since March 2017. She has a Master's degree in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University and extensive experience creating content and social media campaigns. 

Post tags:Brand

comments powered by Disqus