Facebook all started with a Harvard computer science student called Mark Zuckerberg (you might have heard of him) and a bunch of his mates.
Oddly enough, the inspiration behind Facebook is a website called Facemash, which Zuckerberg famously (or rather, infamously) created at uni. It compared the faces of other students in a “hot or not” style game which was quickly shut down by Harvard, but propelled Zuckerberg on a journey to form the world’s largest social media platform.
Today, Facebook has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users and dizzying revenue figures, mostly driven by advertisers.
Looking back, Facebook’s quick rise to success has been incredible – but what does the future hold?
Well, recent signs haven’t been great. For example, this year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal led to a (temporary) loss of billions of dollars of their market cap and even worse, a huge drop in confidence from users.
Facebook has been having a hard time retaining the young generations which helped build its original success too. Only 8% of millennials use Facebook, according to the latest Piper Jaffray teen survey in the US, and more than 70% of millennials and post-millennials prefer Snapchat or Instagram (the latter of which, Facebook owns).
Okay, so that’s the bad news out of the way…
Facebook’s success and rapid growth to-date has been much in part to its ability to adapt, innovate and change quickly – and ultimately, there’s plenty of big things landing now (and planned) to keep the juggernaut spinning.
Here are four of them:
- Facebook Watch – a rival to Google’s YouTube, along with traditional TV channels and online outlets like Netflix – Facebook’s Watch video-streaming service is currently rolling out worldwide.
- GG – Chasing a cut of the 3+ hours per week young adult video gamers spend watching other people play, Fb.(as in “good game”) is a destination where viewers can find a collection of all the video games streaming on Facebook.
- Virtual Reality – Facebook’s Oculus group is working on ways to make virtual socialising realistic – think getting together in a virtual space to catch up with a friend in another city or for a job interview, that’s as close to real life as it gets.
- Bots and AI – Facebook is already allowing companies to build automated “bots” on its Facebook Messenger mobile app that users can interact with and they are set to become even more intuitive over the next decade.
So, should you keep advertising on Facebook?
Yes, of course! Facebook offers an incredibly powerful and effective means of reaching prospective customers and leading them to interact with your products and services. Facebook has worked hard to make its way to the top, and with plenty of innovation in the pipeline, it’s unlikely to be knocked off its perch as the biggest social media company any time soon.
Like all marketing, choosing where to spend your digital budget is about understanding your audience and where they hang out.
If you’re targeting Gen X and baby boomers, Facebook may still be the top-spot for you to be. But if late teens are your target, you might consider the likes of Snapchat or Instagram.
Ultimately, a healthy social media plan will use a mix or media and will be based on your audience’s preference – not what you feel most comfortable using yourself.
Luckily, if you’re working with Kick&Co, it doesn’t matter whether you’re personally using all the social media platforms, or none of them. Just sit back and watch us fit your business into the right forums – whether that’s an established player such as Facebook, or new-comer platforms on the cutting-edge. We can show you where your business has the most potential.
What’s not to about that?