Over the past couple years there have been countless articles and blog posts authored on how Facebook is declining in popularity (I should know, I’ve written at least half a dozen myself!). But in spite of constantly emerging new networks and media hype, reports of Facebook’s demise have, up until now, been greatly exaggerated.
It is true that the world’s largest social network may be hemorrhaging cool-points with teenagers. But that may actually be one of the big factors behind why many of us over the age of 25 actually still like it.
Let’s look at a few of the other big reasons that, despite all the other new networks out there, so many of us still can’t get away from the Facebook.
For many, many people, Facebook remains their go-to online repository for photos. It used to be that when you went on vacation you had your photos printed and you’d invite people over to show them as they sat in your living room with a heavy photo album in their lap.
Nowadays you merely have to upload the photos, create a new album and then post about it in your feed or share it with the people in your network you want to see your photos. And Facebook’s savvy acquisition of Instagram only serves to further consolidate its status as the go-to network for uploading, storing and sharing your photos online.
2. Event Invitations
Another big one. While you technically can invite someone to an event over Twitter or even Snapchat (provided you think they’ll remember after the message self-destructs), when it comes to major social media networks, only Facebook and Google+ have integrated features specifically for inviting people to and/or being invited to events. And since G+ has still largely failed to catch on, Facebook remains just about the best social platform out there for inviting people to your event or getting invited to events yourself.
Facebook is also the only major social network that prominently and publicly posts your birthday for everyone on your friends list to see and comment on – not Twitter, not Snapchat, not Tumblr. And isn’t it nice to have everyone on your friends list wishing you a happy birthday? That was a rhetorical question, of course it is!
4. Everyone is there
Facebook still has the largest user base of any social network out there so the odds are that if the people you know are on only one social network, it’s probably Facebook. This may not be such a good thing when you’re 16 and looking to find trouble while remaining under the parental radar. But it’s nice for the grownups among us to be able to find our friends, peers, colleagues and yes, even family members, when we want to.
Other networks, regardless of how popular they may be or become, are at present more ephemeral. Twitter is great for following celebrities, Snapchat is fun for young people who want to send each other racy chats and images, but those networks are not for everyone. Facebook on the other hand, is.
5. One network to rule them all
On Twitter you can post statuses, on Snapchat you can chat, on Instagram you can share photos, on Myspace you can check out bands, and on LinkedIn you can network professionally. But on Facebook, you can more or less do all of these things. This is a big part of why even though we may find it fatiguing at times, so many of us hang in there with the Facebook; despite being constantly told it’s no longer cool, having our data sold to marketers and our privacy potentially compromised to government snoops.