Is Facebook Dying?

coffinNo. The reports of its death are premature as they say. Way, way premature.

According to the latest Pew Research Center study, Social Media Update 2014, Facebook is not dying and not even declining. On the other hand, it is no longer growing as it had been in the past. There’s a pretty simple reason for that however. Any product with 71% penetration of internet users has probably reached saturation. Such is the case with Facebook. It has however lost its “cool” factor among youth and Millennials however, though its cousin Instagram is now the hot youth platform.

The Pew Social Media Update report is always interesting. To say social media is a fad is foolish. It is deeply entrenched in the lives of many Americans. I know personally that I am a bit over the top in my social media usage of many different platforms. From a marketing perspective, the Holy Grail for every marketer remains “so what should we do”. Obviously that depends on their specific marketing issues and specific business goals. As always, strategy first. Tactics follow.

The Report’s results are fascinating. The results are based on the 81% of American adults who use the internet conducted in September 2014 among 1597 intent users. And it compares trends over time so one can see changes. Straight from the report, here are the other key findings:

Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users.

For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. This represents 31% of all seniors.

For the first time, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram. And half 0f all Instagram users (49%) use the site daily.

For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%.

Women dominate Pinterest: 42% of online women now use the platform, compared with 13% of online men.

The most significant finding, I think, is the growth of multi-platform usage. Of course Facebook is the 100 pound gorilla, but usage of other platforms is increasing and as stated, more than half of adult internet users use 2 or more platforms.

Social media is a tidal wave. There’s no stopping it (who would want to?)

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