Facebook wants to win over the hearts and minds of millennials, but it’s going to have to make some big changes to do so. The social media giant’s recent announcement about changes to its newsfeed highlight Facebook’s larger problems in that demographic—namely, that young people are now spending more time on apps like TikTok than on Facebook itself. With the recently leaked memo revealing Facebook’s strategy to take down TikTok, here’s how it plans to reclaim the app spotlight from its mobile upstart competitor. Facebook’s Plan to Take Down TikTok
The Monetization of News Feed
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What started out as a simple way for people to keep in touch with their friends is about to become an advertising powerhouse. Facebook’s News Feed generated approximately $62 billion in revenue last year, and that number could be substantially higher over time. If you think of ads as things that slow down your experience on any given platform, though, they’re not really worth having—but that could change soon if Facebook can make ads profitable enough for everyone involved. The company has been reportedly testing new ad formats throughout its suite of apps (including Instagram and WhatsApp), but some features appear destined for News Feed above all else.
What does this mean for influencers?
While Facebook is making these changes in order to improve users’ experiences, it could have some negative repercussions for influencers who use Facebook as part of their marketing strategy. For example, influencers may no longer see increases in organic engagement if fewer people are seeing their posts.
There’s a possibility that brands will invest less in video content on Facebook because there will be less incentive for them if they can only get paid when their videos are viewed by many viewers. Influencers with smaller followings might struggle more now because there won’t be as many views on each of their videos (despite reaching more people). On a positive note, however, it could help established influencers find new audiences on other platforms.
How brands should adapt?
Consumers want different things at different times, which is why it’s so important for brands to be flexible and adopt a strategy that can quickly pivot in response to what’s happening around them. So when might a brand consider pivoting from a Facebook-first model? The answer is whenever its consumers need it to. As soon as something more important or interesting comes along, people will go there. Instead of fighting it, brands should be prepared for those changes and ready to respond with creativity and quick action.
Why didn’t they see this coming?
Now, it’s not as if Facebook is a small company that didn’t expect competition. In fact, one of its biggest mistakes was buying Instagram for $1 billion back in 2012. Once purchased, Facebook effectively had no way to compete with Instagram since it couldn’t integrate it into its product. Now, if you look at how much Snapchat is worth today (roughly $21 billion), and compare that with what Instagram is worth ($100 billion), you can see how big of a blunder purchasing Instagram really was for Facebook—and how important it is for them to learn from their past mistakes.
Is this the end of social media as we know it?
Social media users have been up in arms since news broke of a leaked memo from Facebook. The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has confirmed its authenticity and said he will be responding to it publicly on Wednesday evening. Titled The Future of Social Media, it paints a worrying picture of social networks in a post-privacy world. It predicts that people will eventually lose interest in sharing their lives with friends and family—that we’ll want even less information about them than we already do. Instead, it says, consumers will want their friends to only share what they think is interesting and relatable—just like they do on TikTok.