Where Will Facebook Stand in 2014?

A few weeks back, we talked about the decline in Facebook users and its potential impact on social media recruiting.

To recap, here are a few stats from the post:

  • GlobalWebIndex reported that Facebook usage among teens dropped 20%–from 76% in 1st quarter to 56% in the 3rd quarter of 2013. 
  • Further research by GlobalWebIndex showed a spike in teen usage of mobile apps, with closed messaging services and video and photo-sharing apps, like Instagram and Snapchat, taking the lead.

Looking from where we last left off, it seemed like Facebook wasn’t doing so hot. And, unfortunately, that trend hasn’t changed all that much.

Recently, Business Insider had an article titled “Facebook Is A Fundamentally Broken Product That Is Collapsing Under Its Own Weight.” In that article, contributor Jay Yarrow interviewed freelance analyst, Benedict Evans, who highlighted some of the issues Facebook was having.

In a nutshell, Evans argued that Facebook users were being too overwhelmed by “the amount of sharing Facebook is trying to cram through its News Feed.” According to the social media giant, each user has 1,500 potential stories they can go through on average.

To break that down, the article noted that if an user is awake for 17 hours a day, that means they would have to go through 88 new times per hour, or 1.5 per minute, in order to successfully go through all 1,500 stories.

This is where Evans suggests that the product (i.e. Facebook) is broken–likening it to receiving 1,500 emails a day. While Facebook can change its algorithms to make the more important stories come up on a user’s feed, it still doesn’t fix the issue, because it can’t possibly sort through everything. And, to make matters worse, according to Zuckerberg’s Law, the number of stories is steadily rising.

As a result, users, especially as they go mobile, are beginning to use Facebook less and less. If they want to see photos, they can go to apps like Instragram, or Snapchat, and the same goes for gaming or messaging, which all have respective apps.

So, what’s the take-away?

While we aren’t ones for speculation, this does serve as a reminder that you shouldn’t rely solely on one kind of recruiting tool. If Facebook were your only recruiting tool and the platform were to suddenly fall of the face of the earth tomorrow, that would leave you in a lot of trouble.

Keeping an eye on your recruiting tools is critical when it comes to being successful, whether that means staying informed, keeping your options open or (most importantly) starting with the basics–you have to make sure all of your tools work for you.

We’re not saying that you should abandon Facebook, but if you do have all your eggs in one basket, then we definitely think it is time to re-assess.

What are your thoughts on the state of Facebook? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!