By: Eliza Rudalevige
As any Gen Zer worth their chunky loafers will tell you, Facebook is dead. Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s best efforts, the number of younger users of the platform has been rolling downhill for years. According to a 2021 study, only 27% of adolescents report having Facebook profiles—a steep decline from 94% in 2012. And, although Facebook’s acquisition of other social media apps such as Instagram has proven profitable, the mother platform itself appears to be sinking deeper and deeper into obsolescence among the younger generation.
Still, Facebook does provide a few key services that its trendier counterparts cannot. Facebook is still a hub for Gen Z’s parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, former teachers, and older coworkers, and Facebook is the sole social media platform of many of them. Almost seven in ten U.S. adults use Facebook. Additionally, Facebook’s Groups feature is perfectly suited to the needs of schools, athletics, and other extracurricular activities, allowing coaches and others to communicate with their charges in a varied, efficient, and appropriate manner. Facebook may not be the future of marketing to Gen Z, but don’t discount its power to connect Gen Zers with their older family, and to unite groups of Gen Zers for academic or extracurricular purposes. Plus, you never know where Gen Z will migrate once they age out of popular teen platforms.
Additionally, not all “old” platforms are shunned so dramatically by Gen Z. (P.S. Take the word “old” with a grain of salt—in the fast-moving stream of the digital age, any media over five years old is practically retro.) YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram, for example, have maintained their hold over Gen-Z users, despite the fact that YouTube recently celebrated its sixteenth birthday, Snapchat its ninth, and Instagram its eleventh. In fact, Snapchat and Instagram boast 42 million and 33.3 million monthly Gen-Z users respectively, and YouTube remains the most visited website by Gen Z. These apps have been able to adapt and change with their Gen-Z audience, offering fast-paced, engaging content to both the older and younger ends of the Gen-Z spectrum.
TikTok might be the shiny new thing in the sphere of social media, but we can’t completely forget “old” platforms when thinking about Gen Z—nope, not even Facebook. Sift through “Facebook mom” selfies and Boomer sentiments, and you may just find that there are a plethora of opportunities for meaningful engagement with Gen Z. And, if you or your brand needs assistance taking advantage of these opportunities on Facebook or other “old” platforms, Adolescent is here to help.
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