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Billion Deactivations. Is Facebook Dying?

We're reaching the end of 2019, a year where most progress made has come full circle. Laws have been broken, and our leaders are corrupt. What does this have to do with Facebook? There has been so much drama around the internal workings of Facebook, that people are starting to wonder whether the social network site will survive. 

Is Facebook a Dying Social Network?

The truth is, that to know if Facebook is dying, we need to go no further than to look at the numbers. Facebook has been around for a long time, and it gets its business from active users on the website.

It's different from most companies. Sure, Facebook makes its money, mostly, from selling advertising space. So, what this means is that the more active users, the more people are there to see the advertising, and Facebook can then crank the price up a little bit more.

Is Facebook Growing or Dying?

In 2019, Facebook’s number of active users has maintained a steady increase of 8%, and it’s holding its own at 2.41 billion users. This points us in precisely the opposite direction! Can a social media site really be dying if the number of users is so high?

Facebook Q2 2019 Results
Image source: Facebook

The Rumours of the Ending?

Despite the sheer numbers, revealing that Facebook is doing fine, there are still rumors going around that say that the social media giant is dying. Why though?

Well, Facebook has been at the center of recent news stories for the past few years. They say that all publicity is good publicity, but we're not so sure that's the story for Facebook. Between the different fake news scandals, Cambridge Analytica, and being involved in various election scandals, it's difficult to say that Facebook hasn't lost a large chunk of the trust it had gained from its many, many users. 

Trust doesn’t equate to users, apparently. But it’s a sure thing that Facebook took a hit from the bad press.

Facebook Age Groups

But let’s take a look at this objectively, numbers and rumors can't be everything, right? It depends mostly on who is in those numbers and, consequently, which the news has affected. 

There has been an inevitable shift within the Facebook user groups in the last year or so. People who know of Facebook's handlings with illicit data sharing and rigged elections have left (or started to go) the platform. This has left a little vacuum in which a younger, more informed generation has decided to almost leave the platform altogether and go with others that are simply more trustworthy.

Not only this, but in the last decade, with an explosion of social media, we see more and more networks appear that have boiled Facebook down to its main ingredients and made a reduced version of it. A younger generation, it turns out, is more interested in pre-digested, quick content, to get their daily social media dopamine shot. Networks such as Instagram or Snapchat, which are very similar to Facebook but are much more straightforward, are growing massively in numbers. 

If we add on to this that a large portion of Facebook's active users is really only on the site to use the instant messenger app. A messaging app that has been competing with Whatsapp, the current leader, since its creation.

This leaves a user group on Facebook made up of an older generation. As advertising on the internet has spread, the targets are changing. The ugly truth is that internet advertising, especially that on social media platforms, is always heavier targeted at a younger, more vulnerable audience.

What Does This Mean for Facebook as a Whole?

The fact is that Facebook owns its competitors. It owns Instagram, and it owns Whatsapp. It's even making significant strides in the direction of video streaming and gaming on its platform. So, Facebook as an app might be falling behind (although quite slowly), but it has managed to buy out its competitors through brute force and has nothing to worry about.

Conclusion

Facebook is not dying, and it stands to be seen whether or not the social media giant can ever be killed. It has a monopoly spread overall user bases and really has nothing to worry about at all. Even with the bad press, the numbers just keep going up and up.

So, yes, your mother will always have a space to post her Minions memes and posts about wine, and we will still have to be perpetually worried about it.

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Wendy Gooseberry
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