It struck me last night as I scanned through my Facebook feed....I was SCANNING it. Not reading it. Not anymore. It didn't need reading anymore. And that's the problem with Facebook (and especially, for it's business plan, for Facebook advertising).
Let me dig in a little deeper. I realized that after a while on Facebook, most everyone I know (and I'm your average FBer, with 400+ friends) has solidifed their Facebook persona to the point that I no longer need to read their posts. Their posts are what I would expect from them, for example:
"Look at what my baby did today" (with a 3-year old, I understand this one)
"Grrr, those Republicans/Democrats make me angry"
"This is what I am cooking/ate"
"Look at the fun I am having today!"
"This is what I am complaining about today..."
"The world is coming to an end and it is Monsanto/Big Oil/Big Healthcare's fault"
I think this is a two-fold problem. One is, just like in marriage or knowing someone for a long time, on FB they have become predictable. We no longer pay that close of attention to what they say most of the time. We can predict how they will react to current events.
Also, I believe the public has gotten tired (and thus tuned out) the growth of people trying to *use* social media to *make* something happen. Social media was meant to enable friendship and relationship. The use of it as a mechanism for movements became apparent soon thereafter. But the overuse of ham-fisted attempts at it have resulted in a form of fatigue.
For me, if I see one more "change your status to this" I will throw up.
These personal results are also being reflected in two very important groups: advertisers and young teens.
Just last month, General Motors publicly declared they were abandoning Facebook advertising. Just as people are scanning and ignoring posts, they are REALLY scanning and ignoring the ads they are seeing. This is a problem for Facebook. Remember, Google Adwords ads are actually an attempt to answer a need or question you have. Facebook, they are the annoying "third wheel" person trying to insinuate themselves into your conversation so they can remind you you need life insurance (from them).
The other omen is a demographic one. Turns out, younger teens, ones who are coming of age with Facebook already established, are often turning to other ways to connect with their friends - like texting, Instagram, or video-chat. The public-ness of Facebook posts (their parents are usually watching - as are ALL their peers) makes it less than ideal for dealing with life in that forum.
As I draw this post to a conclusion, my crystal ball is emphatically NOT saying Facebook is going anywhere. It won't disappear soon. But it, and our use of it, has matured and plateaued. It's no longer the next big thing. And in the world of the Internet, that's not a great place to be.
Your Guy for Therapy Web Marketing Since 2005