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Facebook Has An Age Problem

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(Hypebot) — The “aging up issue is real,” a Facebook researcher wrote in a leaked internal memo and as a result, the social network will face a more “severe” decline in younger users than it had previously projected.

That Facebook users under 30 are rejecting the platform at increasing rates spells trouble for musicians and marketers reliant on the social media giant to grow and communicate with a fanbase.

Highlights of Facebook’s age problem

  • Teen users of the Facebook app in the US had declined by 13%
    since 2019
  • Teens were projected to drop 45% over the next two years,
  • Users 20 to 30 were were projected to decline by 4% over the next two years
  • The younger a user is, the less on average that they regularly engaged with the Facebook app
  • Overall the rate of decline aross the under 30 demo is increasing

“lose an entire generation”

“The findings, echoed by other internal documents and my conversations with current and former employees, show that Facebook sees its aging user base as an existential threat to the long-term health of its business,” writes Verge tech analyst Alex Heath.  “…If it doesn’t correct course, the 17-year-old social network could, for the first time, lose out on an entire generation.”

Recent revelations and outages seem likely to accelerate the exodus from Facebook.

A broader threat to music

The immediate threat to music marketing is an increasing inability of artists with an under 30 fanbase to use Facebook to reach them.

But that’s just the start.

Musical tastes begin to form in the mid-to-late teens and solidify in a person’s ’20s. Even among more serious music fans, wide shifts in musical preferences are infrequent.

If Facebook isn’t a major part of the lives of fans in their formative musical years, it becomes far less effective as a music marketing platform.

Other platforms will replace Facebook for younger users but they are less likely to have its massive audience and reach. So far those few like TikTok that do are far more ephemeral.

Can you remember the songs your favorite TikTok musical stars shared 2 months ago?

Those that wish Facebook would just go away should be careful what they wish for. What comes next seems likely to an even more fragmented and less in engages audience.

MORE: Facebook just proved why you need a direct connection with your fans

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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