Teens to Ditch Meta for Better
Facebook (recently renamed Meta) - The beaming social media platform of the 21st century that revolutionised social media engagement and entertainment on a macro level is facing a crisis. This invention allowed individuals worldwide to network with one another - an all-in-one stop for commenting, sharing, liking, and posting whatever by whoever. This Mark Zuckerberg invention has come under the threat of being overtaken by other social media platforms. Notably, the video-sharing platform 'Tik Tok' and the instant messaging app 'Snapchat.' Tiktok- has gained immense popularity as the 'app that distracts Gen Z's from their homework,' the app where anyone can go viral, and the app where new trends emerge almost daily.
Why are the youth of today ditching Facebook for a new-age video-sharing platform, Tiktok? What is so special about some lip-syncing and dancing videos?
Being a product of the 21st century, I am guilty of downloading 'Tik Tok' out of curiosity in 2020 because apparently, it has a lot of 'funny lip-syncing and dancing videos. But little did I know that this app would change the way the world perceived social media entertainment. Personally, Facebook seemed pretty outdated due to this generation's designated label as a 'Boomer social network,' an app where your parents post embarrassing school photos. An interview done by Insider suggests that many teens refuse to use Facebook due to platforms increasing the older demographic (Press-Reynolds, 2021). Some teens also proposed that the content on Facebook is too generic and blame the algorithm for its un-enticing content. Although Facebook might be their first ounce of a social media presence for most youth, the emergence of new, more innovative entertainment might result in meta users decreasing drastically in the coming years. A report by the India Times suggests that 'Facebook is to lose 1.5 Million Teen Users As Youngsters migrate to Apps like Tik Tok and or Snapchat'. Further, Incoming statistics from eMarketer forecasts suggest that Facebook has reported a daily loss in users for the first time since the birth of this app 18 years ago. But why does Facebook do a terrible job attracting youngsters to their platform, and what are apps such as TikTok and Snapchat doing differently?
The main reason teens are moving away from platforms such as Facebook is Meta's lack of innovation to fit into the trends and attractions of recent years.
Some might say that Facebook seems to be a quite repetitive platform and does not cater to the Gen Z demographic quite as well. TikTok has become so popular - more popular than its preceding app 'Musically'- because of its algorithm. Although most, if not all, social media platforms encompass a particular type of code that creates user-specific content - TikTok's algorithm is different as it seems to be insanely accurate, as suggested by an article published by Kelsay Weekman 'How TikTok' FYP (For you Page) is scarily accurate.' This article proposes how Tiktok recommends content through user interaction and video information to its users. The more you use the app, the more user-centred content will be delivered to you!. This essentially contributes to a considerable part of Tik Tok's success compared to other social media platforms and is why Facebook is losing more of its users daily.
Moreover, The content format of TikTok seems more appealing to the present youth. The short 15-30 second videos provide the user with relevant information and stimulate a dopamine response which compels them to keep scrolling. In comparison to Meta apps such as Instagram and Facebook - which usually gives control in the hands of the user on what they want to watch. For example: On Facebook, you are presented with the home screen where you can view pictures, and videos from individuals who 'you' as the user, choose to follow. But TikTok takes a different approach as it gives a recommendation first through its 'fyp - for your page.' Facebook requires its user to essentially network constantly to communicate, stay up-to-date and be in touch with close ones, but Tik Tok takes away the 'individual
contribution' of 'networking' by providing the users with the 'networks' through its 'fyp' and video format.
Some might argue, 'Why is Tik Tok so popular when all you can do is view videos and upload videos? In actuality, Facebook has more functions of engagement!'. One reason for this might be because the current generation is moving away from the standard social media criteria of picture posts and moving into an era where video film dominates. TikTok seems to take the limelight as an app that caters to the validation and expression that today's generation seeks. Debra Aho Williamson, the principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, suggests that "It has moved well beyond its roots as a lip-syncing and dancing app. It creates trends and fosters deep connections with creators that keep users engaged, video after video." (the Guardian, 2022a). Other social media apps, such as Snapchat, also attract the younger demographic as it moves away from the conventional use of social media. According to a study done by Texas Tech University, Snapchat's popularity stems from its simplicity and easy-to-use format.
To conclude, Yes! Teens are to ditch Meta for the better as they can relate more to the content created mainly through people around their age. Facebook's older demographic is not being able to appeal to them as much! Teens can also feel like they are in a community - the Tiktok community - as they can bond with people who share the same FYP, such as joining viral dancing trends or recreating trendy food recipes together. The constant scrolling, liking, commenting, sharing, and "Yes, I saw this!" due to the phenomenal Tik Tok algorithm makes Teens attracted to this app, which Facebook seems never to latch on to!
Arya - 17yrs old
I am an individual who enjoys meeting new people and, most notably, making a difference that helps our ever-so-expanding world. Being an avid social media user has enabled me to be a part of our digital community, a norm in our society. Therefore, making our collective digital interaction more safe and secure is one of my many interests that drove my passion for being a part of Safe on Social.