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Facebook’s new focus on young adults: Can Meta win over Gen Z?

What To Know

  • In a recent update, Tom Alison, head of the Facebook app, reiterated Meta’s goal to reorient the platform to appeal to the younger demographic.
  • “Facebook is still for everyone,” Alison wrote, “but in order to build for the next generation of social media consumers, we’ve made significant changes with young adults in mind.
  • While Alison mentioned that Facebook has seen “five quarters of healthy growth in young adult app usage in the US and Canada,” with 40 million young adult daily active users, this number is relatively small compared to the 205 million daily US Facebook users reported in February.
  • In conclusion, Meta’s renewed focus on young adults represents a strategic shift aimed at revitalizing Facebook’s user base and ensuring its relevance in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

When thinking about the 20-year-old social network Facebook, its popularity among “young adults” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Meta, the parent company, is determined to change this perception. In a recent update, Tom Alison, head of the Facebook app, reiterated Meta’s goal to reorient the platform to appeal to the younger demographic.

Alison stated that Facebook is shifting its focus towards young adults while maintaining its broad user base. “Facebook is still for everyone,” Alison wrote, “but in order to build for the next generation of social media consumers, we’ve made significant changes with young adults in mind.”

This announcement is part of Meta’s ongoing efforts to better compete with TikTok and other platforms that have captured the attention of younger audiences.

This isn’t the first time Meta has highlighted its intention to attract young adults. Almost three years ago, Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, emphasized that young adults would be the company’s “North Star.”

Both Alison and Zuckerberg have been advocating for a shift towards a discovery-focused feed rather than one based on users’ connections. This pivot aims to enhance user engagement by surfacing more relevant and engaging content, similar to TikTok’s successful algorithm-driven feed.

According to Alison, this shift is well underway. He noted that Meta’s advancements in artificial intelligence have already improved recommendations for Reels and the main feed. “Advanced recommendations technology will power more products over the next year,” he added.

Additionally, private sharing among users is on the rise, with an increasing number of users sharing video content. However, there was no mention of the previously rumored plan to reintegrate messaging into the main app.

Interestingly, Alison’s note did not mention the “metaverse,” which Zuckerberg previously envisioned as a central part of Facebook’s future. Instead, the focus has shifted to AI advancements and attracting younger users. This shift aligns with Meta’s recent attempts to rebrand some of its metaverse ambitions as AI developments, reflecting the company’s adaptability and focus on current technological trends.

Despite these efforts, it remains unclear how successful Meta will be in winning over young adults. While Alison mentioned that Facebook has seen “five quarters of healthy growth in young adult app usage in the US and Canada,” with 40 million young adult daily active users, this number is relatively small compared to the 205 million daily US Facebook users reported in February.

The challenge for Meta lies in competing with platforms like TikTok, which have become ingrained in the daily lives of young adults. TikTok’s algorithm-driven content discovery and short-form video format have set a new standard for social media engagement, making it difficult for Facebook to attract and retain younger users. However, Meta’s commitment to AI advancements and a discovery-focused feed shows promise in addressing this challenge.

In conclusion, Meta’s renewed focus on young adults represents a strategic shift aimed at revitalizing Facebook’s user base and ensuring its relevance in the ever-evolving social media landscape. While the company faces significant competition from platforms like TikTok, its investments in AI and product innovation could help it regain favor with younger audiences. Only time will tell if these efforts will translate into sustained growth and renewed popularity among young adults.