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Looking into the future of Facebook

Facebook has been a major social network for years now, and thus, a major marketing platform. Taking over from MySpace and other similar sites in the mid 2000s, its domination today is unquestioned. What people do question is whether its dominion will continue into the future, and if not, what’s the next big thing?

Facebook decline may be coming

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Princeton University recently released study results which predict a decrease in Facebook popularity in the coming years. The researchers explained, “Extrapolating the best fit into the future shows that Facebook is expected to undergo rapid decline in the upcoming years, shrinking to 20% of its maximum size by December 2014.” They also predicted a loss of 80% of its user base by 2017.

If this turns out to be true, it means a major restructuring for digital marketing is in store for companies trying to plan marketing budgets for next year. However, not everyone agrees with Princeton’s results. In fact, advertising on the social media giant is as virulent and profitable as ever, with a number of impressive statistics from last year.

Ad revenue on the rise

For instance, there was an 83% increase in revenue-per-click in 2013 over 2012. Click-through-rates in the fourth quarter of 2013 were up an astounding 365% over Q4 of 2012. And as for ad revenue, it reportedly increased “from $1.8 billion in Q3 2013 to $2.34 billion in Q4” which revenue was up 76% over the previous year.

Losing the teenage demographic

What all these numbers mean is that there’s been no dip in marketing success on Facebook as of yet, though whether that’s indicative of high user activity or better marketing tactics remains to be seen. One clear change in the Facebook demographic is the loss of its teenage draw.

Though Zuckerberg denied any such decline, Facebook’s CFO David Ebersman admitted some months later, referring to the teen demographic, “We did see a decrease in daily users, especially younger teens.” This younger group now splits its attention between several social media platforms, including Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and WeChat.

Source: Forbes

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