Has social media usage peaked?

Half of the world’s population are signed up to some kind of social media platform, but year on year the number of people using/signing up to the social media is slowly but surely decreasing.

Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat’s future seems bleak, with hardly any new users in comparison to previous years. This year in Europe, Facebook lost one million users, Twitter lost one million users, and photo and video-sharing app Snapchat lost three million users.

Facebook and Twitter both blame their slowdown to the fact they had to make changes to protect their platform from abuse. For Snapchat, a recent redesign of their photo and video sharing app left users feeling out of touch with the app and subsequently made users leave the app. But for users of Facebook in particular, there is an increase in distrust, discord, and disinterest.

Distrust

The Cambridge Analytica scandal created a huge loss of trust between users and Facebook.  Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, harvested data from up to 87 million Facebook profiles. They did this by creating a quiz for users to complete and it was shared all over Facebook. Of course, users who completed the quiz were completely unaware that their data would be harvested and they thought they were filling out a fun, harmless quiz. Understandably, this could scare users away, and make them delete their profiles.

Discord

Everyone is different, and therefore each of us have completely different opinions. On Facebook, it is likely that whatever you post, someone will have an opinion about it. Often people will feel more comfortable sharing that opinion from behind a screen, and will comment on other people’s posts, this can cause arguments and disagreements and makes Facebook out to be a negative environment. The point here is that Facebook used to be a fun app whereby users would share little snippets of their lives, but now, it could be considered too political.

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Disinterest

Although Facebook offers a lot of different elements to users, such as being able to share photos and videos, write statuses and message people, it could be argued that there are other apps that do each of these elements better. For example, whilst the usage of Facebook declines, apps like Instagram are on the rise. Although you can share photos through Facebook, Instagram offers a much more tailored experience for users, and if this is what users liked most about Facebook, then the switch to a more specialised, up to date app like Instagram is understandable.

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