Friday, June 22, 2018

The “Facebook Nevers” (the kids are alright)

The author is a general partner at Google Ventures GV.

From 500ish Words:
The fall of Facebook has nothing to do with people quitting the service…

The numbers are in and the trend is clear. That is, there is no trend. Despite months of controversy, users don’t seem to be leaving Facebook. Certainly not in any meaningful way.

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone because this has been the story of Facebook since nearly the beginning of the network. It goes like this: There’s some outrage around something. There’s a lot of talk about and stories written about people quitting Facebook. Then no one actually quits.

Okay, sure, some people quit. And actually in the U.S., the number of active users has dipped a bit in recent quarters. But growth in the rest of the world is more than making up for those losses. Yes, believe it or not, there are still people on this planet not yet on Facebook — billions of them, even.¹ 

And so Facebook grows.

And yet, the tectonic plates are shifting. But they’re shifting under Facebook, as tectonic plates do. The fall of Facebook was never going to be people quitting the service en masse — it’s too interwoven into the fabric of the way many of us use the web these days — it was always going to be the people who never really use the service in the first place. Kids.

In this regard, the situation is similar to cable. For years and years we’ve heard about “cord cutters” — that is, the people who cancel their cable service (I’m one of them!). But the real story, the one that is and will be far more impactful, is the “cord nevers” — that is, the people who never got cable in the first place. Again, the young people....MORE