Facebook’s shiny object non-problem

By: Jorge Jaramillo

Facebook’s CFO David Ebersman revealed during the last earnings call that there is a noticeable exodus of kids from facebook. Why are kids leaving facebook? What does facebook need to do about it?

When I started school, facebook was the shiny thing. Almost a decade later, its shiny creds have been passed onto the likes of Instagram, WhatsApp, SnapChat etc. Whereas my generation only got introduced to facebook in college, today’s kids are joining facebook as young as 10 years old. By the time they turn 18, you cannot expect them to see facebook with the same passion and excitement as when they first joined.

To facebook’s credit, it hasn’t built its business on being a shiny object. Facebook has serious lock-in that goes far beyond the often-cited network effect. Facebook’s real lock-in is its success in becoming the digital archive of the lives of hundreds of millions of its users. Facebook is no longer just a communication tool; facebook is what you’ve been up to in your life all through high school and college. And while the ebbs and flow of life may push its users to deactivate their facebook account, they are far from permanently¬† leaving facebook because permanently leaving facebook is akin to burning your decade worth of photos, letters and diary entries.

No one is burning their facebook accounts. They’re merely locking themselves out of it…until they are bored with the new shiny object that was supposed to kill facebook. That’s when they hop right back onto facebook.

So what should facebook do about not being the shiny thing any longer? I don’t think it needs to do much! In my casual conversations with younger cousins, they talk often about deactiving or no longer logging onto facebook. But very few if any actually delete their accounts. And as long as people aren’t deleting their accounts, facebook has nothing to worry about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>