Parents blamed as young people leave Facebook

Facebook may have today announced record profits, but digital experts say young people are being driven away from the social media site - and parents are to blame.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 31st January 2016, 6:00 am

The Silicon Valley giant might be the world’s biggest social network with more than a billion daily users, but they are older and greyer.

“It’s mums and dads that have caused the problem. Younger people are looking for a different platform,” said Simon McAskill, one of the guest speakers at the Insider’s Guide to Google event which took place in Yorkshire recently.

“We are in an interesting interim at the moment,” said Becky Wilson, another of the speakers and a Google Partner like Mr McAskill.

“Facebook is still king of the castle in social media but it is a case of keeping an eye out for the next best thing.

“Young people are always looking out for what’s new and what’s interesting.

“Millenials in particular are going to start being a bit more flighty with their social media use, they are very dependent on it and integrated into it, but they are happy to chop and change so it is a case of sit and wait at the moment.”

Instagram is a popular visual platform with 300m users but is a hard place for marketers to sell on, said Mr McAskill.

He added: “Yes, they are changing things and you can advertise but the ones that are having success, it is all about post-purchase moments, it’s about someone that has bought the watch, gone out to that bar or whatever the case.

“It is a lifestyle. You can see the fun that’s being had. A lot of businesses will look at Instagram as a marketing opportunity and it’s not a quick-win opportunity.

“If you love that picture of your product and you share it on these platforms as intended, in time I am sure it will the right approach.”

Twitter, which has a slightly lower number of users than Instagram, is reportedly planning to allow 10,000-character messages on its platform.

Ms Wilson, a social media specialist, said the move has attracted a lot of negative feedback online.

She added: “For Twitter, that 140 characters has been its USP. It would probably remove a lot of its conversational aspects.

“The advice I tend to give people, even on Facebook, is try and keep it short and sweet because if you are having to get people to click ‘read more’, people are missing out on what you are trying to say, the story you are trying to tell them.

“I don’t know how Twitter will be able to manage that when it is supposed to be quick-fire content.”

Ms Wilson said she was enjoying Twitter’s new catch-up service called Moments.

She added: “Like with anything that any social media platform brings out, immediately people take to the internet and say ‘I hate everything’.

“People don’t like change, but I’m enjoying it because it has allowed me to keep up to date with things I may have missed and I think that’s something that perhaps Twitter is struggling to keep up to date with.

“It is something like 9,000 Tweets per second, which is an obscene amount of information. It’s great that Twitter is looking at different ways in which people can catch up.”

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