March 5, 2013
Facebook appears to be losing its luster with teenagers. In a letter on his profile page, the company’s former director of product Blake Ross announced last week he was leaving “because a Forbes writer asked his son’s best friend if Facebook was still cool and the friend said no, and … none of HIS friends thinks so either.” As TheVerge.com reports, the world’s largest social network recently admitted it might be losing younger users to “other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook.”
In a reversal of previous trends, some young users now value privacy more than online sharing. When Facebook first launched, it was considered cool to expose personal details on the site: photos, what you’re doing, the movies or music you like, who you’re dating, etc. But at some point force-feeding Facebook friends information they didn’t ask for began to feel like bragging.
Even worse, maintaining an online profile started to seem like work, not fun. Said one 15-year-old, “I find it boring, and I don’t really care about knowing all my friends’ details anymore.”
Teens are turning to sites like Tumblr and apps like Snapchat and Instagram to share photos, videos and other media. Whereas photos on Facebook last forever, on Snapchat they disappear after about ten seconds of being viewed — for some a private and empowering way to communicate without leaving a permanent record. — Greg Beaubien