Facebook celebrates 10th birthday, faces turbulent teens

Credit: Reuters
Credit: Reuters

When a 2013 academic paper suggested Facebook could swiftly go the way of MySpace, the social media giant was able to laugh off the claims, showing that its client base was growing while the university in question was sliding.

Marking 10 years on Feb. 4, Mark Zuckerberg’s baby has reasons to celebrate. More than one billion of us now hold accounts, with a steady increase in monthly users in every region of the world. The company’s stock value has soared past $150 billion after a disastrous initial flotation.

Yet there are growing threats to the global leader. Facebook’s recent output — a flurry of apps like Paper, which makes reading easier and integrates Instagram, and Messenger, a no-frills riff on Snapchat — show the company’s awareness that its crown is slipping in a white-hot competitive market.

Teenage users are down 25 percent in the last three years, and the company’s own research highlighted a “decrease in daily users, specifically among teens” as a leading concern. The classic formula is no longer enough, and the company is responding with creative gambles.

“The rate of change has to keep pace with both technical innovation and the changes in consumer taste,” Matthew Rhodes, director at FreshMinds digital strategy consultancy, told Metro. “Facebook is under massive pressure to keep changing, and I expect to see a vast new ecosystem of standalone apps for different purposes.”

Zuckerberg himself suggested it would take the next “three to five years” to transition from a web to mobile company, during which rivals like Twitter and Instagram could continue their rapid expansion alongside new competitors.

But Facebook’s sheer size will prove an advantage, says Nate Elliott, senior analyst at Forrester Research.

“Every day they are giving people more reasons to come back, whether through their own innovations or stealing others,’” he said.

He added that competition is not a “zero-sum game” and that social media companies can grow simultaneously given the rate of user demand.

The company’s major challenge will remain how best to monetize a free service, which could threaten its share price.

“Given that it’s the largest media property ever, marketers are not satisfied with Facebook performance, which is less effective than email marketing,” said Elliott. “The company seems to consider it a second priority, but if I were them I would be working very hard to serve marketers.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.