Three reasons why young people will be using Facebook again by 2020

Pippa Adams, CEO
Pippa Adams, CEO
07 / 02 / 2017 | Prodo Insights

Facebook is for old people – that’s the phrase uttered by children, teenagers and marketers alike daily. Though a little simplistic, the statement carries some weight. Let’s take a look at one of the primary sets of statistics [Source: Pew Research Centre] to prove this:

  • 95% of 13- to 18-year olds in the United States were users of Facebook in 2012.
  • 94% of 13- to 18-year olds in the United States were users of Facebook in 2013.
  • 88% of 13- to 18-year olds in the United States were users of Facebook in 2014.
  • 80% of 13- to 18- year olds in the United States were users of Facebook in 2015.
  • 70% of 13- to 18- year olds in the United States were users of Facebook in 2016.

Where have the little whippersnappers gone – ’ey?

Well, the first thing to realise is that the kids are still 'here', they’re just elsewhere – you’ll find the majority of millennials who aren’t present on Facebook on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. So why on earth do we think they’ll be back? Here are three reasons:

Facebook Stories

In early 2017, Facebook started rolling out its largest functionality change since Facebook Live in 2016 – Facebook Stories. Facebook Stories is a copy and paste of Instagram Stories, and, yep – Instagram Stories is a copy and paste of Snapchat Story. The implementation of Instagram Stories was such a success for the platform, key influencers on Snapchat claimed that it almost instantly caused a 15-40% drop in views of their Snapchat Stories.

Facebook Video

Facebook has made plans to monetize its videos for creators, just like YouTube – the difference? The pricing. Facebook is promising to offer more money to creators than rival (and whippersnapper haven) YouTube; how much more hasn’t been specified yet – but whatever the amount it will inevitably pull across uploaders from YouTube to Facebook, and the viewers will follow.

Just a stab-in-the-dark prediction – watch out for some high-level YouTuber influencer exclusivity deals. Here’s looking at you PewDiePie: if you’re not aware, the biggest YouTuber isn’t a big fan of YouTube and almost paradoxically uploads videos slating the platform to his 50,000,000+ subscribers, if I were Mark Zuckerberg I would be picking up the phone.

Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger

Facebook is lucky in the fact that it owns a large percentage of the platforms that Gen Z is migrating to, namely Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. Cross-platform integration can be a huge influencing factor in soft transitioning people between platforms – a lot of the time without you even realising you’re being steered into doing it. For instance, do you remember the day that you started using Messenger? Me neither – this is example of cross-platform .

Facebook as a marketing platform will be very different, of course, by the year 2020 – so don’t get carried away thinking about how you’re going to apply your current marketing strategy to the sudden influx of Gen Z users. We predict the rise of ad blockers will continue from websites and search engines to and start to affect social platforms in a similar way. This is something we discuss in the article Ad Blockers. Five Stats Marketers Need To Know.