Facebook will focus on providing services to young people in New Push

It’s no secret that Facebook is losing contact with young people, with various reports detailing the gradual decline in the platform’s popularity among young users, as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok continue to grow.

Facebook used to be the leading choice platform for social engagement of young people, but over time it lost that cool factor and became a more haven for older users, as seen in this data included in a recent leaked Facebook file.

Despite adding Stories and integrating Reels into the wider Facebook experience, he doesn’t catch on to the way he used to be. Which could pose significant problems for the platform in the long run – and which Zuck and Co. now they want to solve.

In his comments as part of yesterday’s announcement of earnings in the third quarter, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the platform will return young people to a key priority in the future – even if it means the loss of older users as a result.

According to Zuckerberg:

We are re-equipping our teams to serve young people as their North Star, instead of optimizing for more older people. Like everything, this will involve trade-offs in our products and will likely mean that the rest of our community will grow more slowly than it would otherwise. But it should also mean that our services are becoming stronger for young adults. This change will take years, not months, to be fully implemented, and I think this is the right approach to building our community and company in the long run.

Zuckerberg knows that youth trends are key to continued growth, as it is the entry point for tomorrow’s users. Losing contact with young people means, in the end, also losing the contact period, so Facebook will now focus more on young users, which could see significant changes in the app.

But what exactly is changing?

We don’t have clear details for now, but based on Zuckerberg’s comments and notes included in the latest leaked Facebook files, we have an insight into where Facebook is looking.

First, Zuckerberg highlighted the growth of Reels, his TikTok-like short video platform, as a key element of focus:

Reels is already a major driver of engagement growth on Instagram. It’s incredibly fun and I think we have huge potential ahead of us. We expect this to continue to grow and I am optimistic that it will be just as important to our products as Stories. We also expect to make significant changes to Instagram and Facebook next year to further rely on the video and make Reels a central part of the experience.

In other words, if you’re not yet familiar with Reels, it might be worth spending more time on this option and gaining a sense of why a short video is so interesting – and how you can make the format work for your brand message.

As for turning Reels into a central focus, as I mentioned in my recent post for 2022 predictions, my opinion is that, in the end, Instagram will open up for Stories / Reels instead of the traditional feed, putting more focus on those elements, while on Facebook, I guess you’ll see much more prominent Reels panels in the feed and probably an improved approach to the Reels experience across the screen – such as the option to swipe left to take you directly to that feed.

Again, the impetus from a marketing perspective is that you should work on gaining a feel for this format, as Facebook will force it in the coming months and years. This will likely mean that you will see increased reach and engagement by publishing Reels, which could make this a key factor in your content strategy.

In addition, this graphic on youth re-engagement is also included in the latest leaked Facebook files:

Priorities for engaging young people on Facebook

It’s a bit blurry, but the graphics show three key areas of focus:

  • Fix the basics – Helping young users connect with people, interests and content they care about
  • Provide positive, productive experiences – Help young users to feel good about the time they spend in the app and to be connected to what is happening in the world
  • Help YA achieve its goals and create change – Provide differentiated services to help young users solve the problems they face

These are conceptual notes, so there is nothing specific about platform changes or updates as a result, but the focus is on providing better opportunities for young users to contribute to key discussions and debates, and to engage them through their capacity to influence change through Facebook’s unparalleled scales. and reach.

It’s not clear if this is another key element of focus, and maybe it was just another suggestion among Facebook’s possible plans. But it provides additional insight into the company’s thinking on how to regain youth and ensure Facebook stays relevant in the long run, rather than just seeing it gradually disappear as other platforms take its place.

What will this mean for older users and wider Facebook engagement in general? It’s hard to say, but the platform has become such a key means of connectivity for so many people these days that I don’t see them turning off en masse as a result of this pressure. But again, seeing more youth-focused features and potentially more posts by young people, who probably don’t share the same perspectives, could force more older users into groups and other elements in which they can continue to post about topics that interest them. most about.

Which could be another factor in this attempt. By redirecting older users beyond posting in the main feed, perhaps this in itself will play a role in reducing the division, placing an increased focus on more progressive trends that are more specific to young people. Much comes down to how, exactly, Facebook implements this, but it could be another part of a broader platform shift from argumentative content and re-aligning engagement with younger discussion factors.

This seems to be a significant shift in any case, which, as Zuck notes, will take years to implement. Facebook will also look for the next stages of connectivity at the time, including AR, VR and the concept of the metaverse that is evolving.

Which is another reason why Facebook should keep its youth connection, because young users are the ones who will encourage the adoption of the next shifts.

This could change the use of Facebook, and ultimately your Facebook marketing process as a result.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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