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America’s Teens Are Choosing YouTube Over Facebook (bloomberg.com)
435 points by doener on May 31, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 353 comments



There isn't anything to do on facebook for the young/youth.

The games are more for the middle aged player.

They have no list of long lost people they wish to connect with. Everyone is a friend or friend of a friend.

You can follow brands but the youth want to follow a band or an actor not a toothbrush company.

Things like poking or using a fake name or having permissions connected to school or orgs created social group that you would share related photos. Now you have to manage a list or share with everyone.

Facebook was a good way for college kids to connect with everyone from there school. They could create a new persona with fun photos/videos and show everyone how popular they are. Now you hide your friend list, avoid saying anything that you wouldn't say in front of your mother and secretly worry that anything you post will be purchased by a potential future employer enabling them to filter out your resume in record time.


The sole reason I’m still on Facebook is because events are organized on Facebook. I know I’d still get invited if I deleted Facebook, but I don’t really want to be the person, that everyone always have to text message for rsvp, planning, changes and so on.

This only happens in Facebook because everyone in my social circle is on Facebook though. Young people aren’t faced with this platform lock in and I absolutely agree with you, why would they ever join?

Facebook is basically the yellow pages at this point, and how many millennials ever used a phone book?


I removed facebook from my home screen on android and replaced it with twitter.

It was surprisingly easy to forget about facebook. I had already basically avoided it for a month or two. The twitter icon was my reminder/mindless app to kill a few minutes. Twitter sucks too, but its different.

I'll check my facebook when I remember, maybe once a week when my wife mentions a friend posted something crazy on facebook. I'll check my notifications for events, but its mostly garbage.

My tech-spider-sense says the masses are losing interest in facebook.


The masses (especially boomers in America) still use Facebook, they've just retreated into groups, messenger, and marketplace. This behavior aligns with Facebook's product focuses. The Facebook killer does not exist yet.

Personally, Twitter makes me feel gross. Too much marketing spam in a small amount of time. Too easy to get sucked in and lose 30 minutes of my life to informationless noise.


On twitter you just block the accounts that are sending you promoted tweets. Eventually, you'll run out of people trying to target you. You have no recourse on Facebook.


You'll still see promoted tweets, they'll just get more and more strange as you collect all the bigger corporate brand accounts in your blocklist.


Strange random ads are ok compared to seeing creepy demographically targeted ads. Also, there are only so many national brands who are willing to spend money indiscriminately.


I had a clicketty clicky addiction to Facebook, which I replaced with the reddit mobile app.

In a past age I was a true believer in reddit, up until 2010-2011. I had a >6-year old account. True believer, paid for gold, believed that to be something special. Reddit ruined that and went for a different, shallower audience. Turns out, that audience is also me.


The problem with reddit got significantly worse when companies started AstroTurfing campaigns there.


Shilling and karma farming have killed ingenuous sharing of information. I used to go on reddit to discover new things. That's no longer the case. I still visit small subs about some shows, games, languages, etc, but I am no longer exposed to unexpected unknown information.


Kinda similar. I stopped using FB since a year. I don't post anymore and check notifications like once a month. I realized you can't quit social cold turkey unless you have something to do in that time. Luckily for me, I started liking Twitter, Reddit and some PUBG.


I'm going to be that person once I get around to messaging everyone alternative contact means. However, I cannot even be bothered to login to Facebook just to do that...

Not that it would change anything. Being on facebook means that people think they can invite me there, when in reality, I won't see anything until weeks or months later.


Are these events open or friends only?

I ask because open invite eventing sucks. (I imagine organizing friends only events do too, but I wouldn't know, because we empty nesters no longer socialize like that.)

My primary volunteer gig has been experimenting with using both facebook and meetup to publish meetings, GOTV (phone banking, signature gathering), important calendar dates (eg elections).

Both kinda suck. Most of our members still get looped in via our email blasts.

But I don't really know what would be better. Looking for ideas.

(I do have ideas. But hoping to avoid making my own solution.)


Friends only events on facebook are phenomenal.

It's much much easier than having to find out someone's email or phone number that you might not have.

And while I haven't organized a large open event, I do enjoy using facebook for attending them.


Disclosure: I work for Paperless Post.

PaperlessPost is a events company and we recently launched a product named "Flyer". It's an easy way to create an event and collect RSVP's using a unique URL. The designs are pretty hip too. Check it out here - https://www.paperlesspost.com/flyer

Hit me up with any questions about the product.


I think you were downvoted for self-promo. FWIW, I appreciate your reply. I peeked. Your product looks very nice.

To better illustrate my challenge, here's an umbrella org to dozens of activities, of varying sizes and prerequisites.

http://www.sustainableballard.org

They need a whitelabel version of volunteermatch.org & meetup.com hybrid.


Is there really no good “just the events” app or site?

Personally I hear about the things I want to attend anyway, but I have the same feeling of not knowing nonetheless.


https://www.facebook.com/local/

That could be a killer app if Facebook gives it love.


Sure, but they lack users.

If one of my friend groups introduced a new platform, I’d have that one + Facebook. If five of my friends introduced new platforms I’d probably have 6 platforms.

Aside from that, a lot of the alternative platforms aren’t really better than Facebook. I’m on discord for instance, but they also make a living of my personal data.


Like public events? or your private events inbox? I think Eventbrite/Meetup has a browsable public event list.


100% agree. Facebook completely dropped the ball in terms of what they're really offering these days. Besides some a/b testing and ad optimisation what have they added in terms of features in the last 5 years? It's basically a messenger and a newsfeed with pictures, sometimes videos and URLs to (often fake) news. Anything else kind of went nowhere after a while - whether that's their Classifieds section or Foursquare-competitor section or Games etc

I have seen a large part of my Facebook friends leave the platform (I'd estimate at least half are inactive). And our whole class joined when Stanford came onboard as the second school after Harvard way way way long ago.


Well a couple of years ago they added a super new feature that made the messenger stop working on mobile. And then they improved it by making it stop working when you check the 'Desktop Site' box by having it delete every word you type. Quite an effort, fucking up a text input, probably required a huge effort.


That was extremely annoying, although you can work around it by accessing mbasic.facebook.com with a mobile browser.

Also using mobile Chrome in desktop mode enables one to read messages, although it's quite awkward to use.

Facebook's push to force end users to install their messenger on mobile phones made me very suspicious. I stopped using all their regular mobile clients as well, and only use browser.


Agree- it made me suspicious as well. They wanted it a little too much.

They also wanted me to fill in profile information- which I didn't do. So they took guesses- all wrong- about my education, by job, and so on. I guess they expected that if I saw something wrong I would fix it. Nope.


#ProTip I still have some distant friends who occasionally message me on fbook messenger.

I open a private session on mobile safari, log into fbook, then “request desktop site” and read/reply. I refuse to have fbook app installed on my phone.

However I stupidly use WhatsApp everyday...


At least WhatsApp is encrypted end-to-end. Messenger is not.


Messenger has a setting to encrypt your messages.

Not sure if it's on by default, but mine was turned on and I don't remember turning it on.


And an even bigger fuckup is how they spent 19 Billion USD on buying yet another messenger and never integrating it with their first messenger, so they now run two. Why, nobody knows.


Yea totally not a monopoly-like move to buy out a competitor even though they can't fully integrate it because their competitor was built around privacy and they are not.


If, by "built around privacy", you're referring to end-to-end encryption, that was introduced (fully) to WhatsApp in 2016. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in February 2014. Open Whisper Systems announced their partnership with WhatsApp in November 2014. Facebook could have easily slashed that end-to-end-by-default idea if they wished to.

I think we need to give credit to Facebook where credit is due, and it sure seems like Facebook's management wanted WhatsApp to be private for some reason.

I see no indication that WhatsApp was "private" in any way before Facebook acquired it.


Whatsapp was never about apps and never about anything but messaging. Integrating any of the features that make money for FB would've driven users away. The only thing they brought to Whatsapp is Stories (apparently all apps need this now) but I don't know anyone who uses it on Whatsapp. It's always empty on whatsapp while people happily use it on Instagram.

I can't imagine how the Whatsapp acquisition will ever pay off. It doesn't need to because they make money with FB and Instagram but I don't see why they had to buy it..


Others have touched on this... but I bet it's also to lock down that market space. Facebook's competition is communications platforms. By preventing anyone else from dominating the secure communications space, they don't face that threat.


I think they bought it purely to prevent it evolving into a competitor. It's got too many users to kill off as a product, and at least they are 'Facebook' users in a roundabout way, and by not adding anything anything new to WhatsApp they can keep it subjugated. Keep your enemies closer and all that.


Also their codebases are beyond incompatible. Facebook uses Hack, a PHP derivative while Whatsapp is Erlang. You'd need to completely rewrite the latter to integrate it but you'd lose the incredible efficiency of Whatsapp doing so.


Why do the codebases need to share a similar set of languages and tools? Integrating two services doesn't necessarily mean merging them into a single product; Facebook could likely allow the two to communicate without a complete product merger.


Are you sure about that? Is Hack / PHP powerful enough to handle billions of messages an hour? If so, i'm impressed.

But I doubt it and I'm sure you're wrong about what runs Messenger. No company, least of all the Facebook scale ones use just one language for everything.


Of course the backing service is not PHP. That would be a particularly poor choice for a high volume messaging statement. They originally wrote it in Erlang and later rewrote it in C++.

https://www.quora.com/When-did-Facebook-switch-away-from-usi...


statement -> service

sigh


> Why, nobody knows.

Wait what? I thought that's obvious. Facebook and WhatsApp don't even have the same type of social graph, multi-brand approaches are probably always strategically superior and changing the fundamental concept behind high-growth apps tends to be a high-risk endeavor.

There are probably a million more reasons not to prematurely integrate. (I guess they would also need to quit their e2e encryption in the process.)

Would there be any benefit beside convenience? Honest question.


Can't forget about direct messages on Instagram, either...


Is that being used for anything but spam?


Yeah teens use Snap and Insta to communicate (and WhatsApp)


I meant instagram DM. Snap and Whatsapp are obvious but haven't seen anyone yet who's used Instagram for DM.


I didn’t like this attempt to get you to install the messenger app either. However, I found out you can access messages on mobile using mbasic.facebook.com


They've also added a few more features cloned from competitors and most of them failed.


> Besides some a/b testing

that AB testing has SUCKED when it comes to facebook enjoyment.

Im not sure if they were looking at minutes people spent on facebook, but that must be an awful indicator.

Whatever happened, I dont use it anymore.


Very true. They 'optimised' it with the wrong parameters in mind. And sadly they dropped the ball on big picture / vision. a/b testing is wonderful if you have an almost perfect product (Google Search). It's not when you are still trying to evolve a product.


And events. I use Facebook Events extensively.

As a teen, I'd go to the movies with my friends maybe 4 times a year. Never went to any events. The extent of our fun was playing basketball or just sitting around.


See maybe this is why I never understood the supposed all-important-ness of Events. I still just hang out with friends or family or by myself rather than going to "events".


I'm dancing Swing dances. Some scenes don't even have a web site or a newsletter (or the web site is always outdated and inaccurate).

But they all plan their dances and workshops meticulously in Facebook.

I can mark dances as "interesting" months before they happen and look up later what's coming next week.

That's especially nice for other scenes than your own, in towns two hours or more away.

It's the only thing keeping me on Facebook, because I don't see how to replace that.


This is also the only reason I keep using Facebook.


Same with me - Blues and Fusion. (The Tango scene is more traditional, websites and flyers.)


> I'm dancing Swing dances. ...

Is this popular with American Teens?

I am guessing not. Which kind of makes the GP's point.


At the older end of "teens" - a lot of people enter partner dance scenes when they're starting college. So 18-20-ish. (I'm a late bloomer, only started dancing at 25.)

And at that point, yes, they start to do everything on Facebook.


I follow local market and food truck events, a couple of cool bars and arcades I like that frequently have events on, a place that does dog-centric events, local car shows that are of interest to me, etc. Facebook then surfaces other events that it thinks are of interest to me, and most of them are. I'd say 75% of my social calendar comes from Facebook events. I can understand young people not being interested in any of this and following their specific interests, like following a band on instagram rather than a venue on facebook.


> See maybe this is why I never understood the supposed all-important-ness of Events. I still just hang out with friends or family or by myself rather than going to "events".

It's not so much all-important, but it's the one feature that impacts Facebook-abstainers the most. If someone's planning a party and is lazily using FB events, you'll probably be left out if you don't have an account.


My point is that I, and I suspect lots of people, aren't reliant on being included in party planning of this sort. I just send or receive a message to my friends or family like "barbecue at 6:30 on Friday?" or way more often I don't do that at all and just chill at home. I'm not at all saying that there isn't a very large contingent of people for whom Events is super useful because they do way more stuff that makes sense to plan that way, I know that this contingent definitely does exist. What I'm saying is that there is another contingent of people like me who just don't do that, and people often seem to be in disbelief that such people exist. We do!


A few of the local meetups are organized over FB instead of Meetup.com (because even the few bucks that Meetup charged was "too expensive" - though I think more in time/logistics than in actual dollars).

Similarly, my daughter's GirlScouts troop uses FB exclusively for organizing/announcements/voting, etc.


I used to organise a local user group - it was free to attend, quite small, and we averaged maybe one meeting every couple of months. I wanted to put it on meetup.com for more visibility, but $10/month feels like a lot to pay for something so small and non-commercial.


It’s hard to coordinate large numbers of people without events. Organizing a party before Facebook was actually a lot of work compared to now, when all of the information you need is all in one place.


If we're gonna meet up for a few drinks or lunch/dinner, we just message a group (whatsapp/telegram) but if were sorting a weekend away, or a party then FB events gets used. Easy to keep the convo all together, post details, see whos coming etc.


Everyone has their own thing. Probably my second favourite thing is hanging out with friends and talking and laughing with wine.

But I love nothing more than dancing the night away with great music. I'm a raver. Facebook Events is a game changer.


I'm a raver. Facebook Events is a game changer.

When I started going to raves you got a phone call from a guy who heard from a guy that there was a layby off a remote B-road that you might want to be at and when you got there another guy would give you directions along an unnamed road to an abandoned airfield and that was where the rave was.

Now we got corporate raves on a public website. The old way was better.


Yes, the raves you will only hear about from friends of friends are very much alive and well. Weekly in my area. The bars/clubs close at two, these start right after and go to 8am... 1pm next day... whatever you want.


I have to imagine those secret raves still exist.

I also have to imagine that sometimes you just want to dance and it's probably nice to not have to jump through a lot of hoops to find a fun party.


That way still exists, so not really "old way".


Closed groups are big for certain use cases - either for small-ish hobby+location specific communities or for attendees of some large events (i.e. music festivals).


Yes, Facebook is very popular for expat groups around the world. Nearly every city with an active expat community has an extremely active Facebook group where people communicate. It's automatically assumed that other expats in the area are subscribed.

This may be more of a 20+ use case, but either way, Facebook groups provide a sense of community. They are more personal than subreddits and less personal than a group chat.


Your saying "I use Facebook Events extensively" places you most likely in the ~30-50 age range.

The 30+ crowd appears to believe that FaceBook is the most logical way to organize events - you can check in on your own schedule, without feeling pressured into immediately responding to someone poking you about joining up. Today's youth has no problem being expected to respond within minutes - or in the worst case, a couple of hours - to an inquiry made via SMS or Snapchat.

ie: Older person: "I may have some free time this weekend, maybe I'll check FaceBook tomorrow to see if anyone is planning something"; vs. younger generation: "Someone snapped our group telling us to come out with them Saturday, I'll decide in the next 5 minutes whether I'm in or out".


This seems very very disconnected from reality. You're confusing the word "events" for meaning "meeting up with friends"

In reality FB events are extensively used by ages 16-30 as well for bigger group gatherings, such as going on holiday, going for a weekend somewhere, or something like that.

Your anecdote look like something an older person would charicaturize about youth and elderly.


> In reality FB events are extensively used by ages 16-30 as well for bigger group gatherings, such as going on holiday, going for a weekend somewhere, or something like that.

I don't understand why you'd use FB events for "going on holiday, going for a weekend somewhere." Those things would entail a smaller, tighter knit group with much more communication and planning. Group chat seems like a better fit.

IMO, FB events are really only suitable for things like parties, with an large invite/smaller rsvp dynamic, with mostly broadcast messages from the host.


Oh I meant "bigger group" holidays, ones arranged by a society/class.

Yes groupchat is better when it's less than say, 8 people.

FB events are suitable for lots of things, I woulnd't say it in such a reductionary manner like "only parties".


I find this comment very odd. The 18-22 (college) crowd still very much does use FB events extensively as well.


Your analysis is completely wrong and the fact that you write Facebook as FaceBook makes me think you have no idea what you're talking about.


I daresay sharing memes is arguably the most commonplace use of Facebook among teens nowadays.


I started with BBS in the early 90s (I was technically a pre-teen) and progressed to IRC shortly after... But, I _really_ remember when ICQ first showed up in my school and then even more so when AIM followed it. It's a bit silly to say today, I guess, but those were actually defining moments when I retrospect on the popular technology during that period of my life.

So, what has replaced instant messaging _in a meaningful way_ for teenagers? I hear Snapchat, but I don't think that it's actually filling the gap. I've heard folks say YikYak before, or whatever the fuck it was called, but that app was a pile and I'm pretty sure it died anyway over privacy violations.

What's out there that is directly connecting teens online today? Please tell me they're not all walled in to Facebook without any alternatives...


Groupme. Largest group messaging app used, by far. There is also a large number using Discord, but that is mostly the more nerdy/gamer kids. No one wants to use facebook, but unfortunately most of the parents use facebook so they are forced to use it by association.


Snapchat, whatsapp, FB messenger, kik, viber, instagram, twitter ("slide in my DMs"). What I'm unsure about is anonymous online interaction. Is reddit and topic-specific forums all that are available? Maybe FB groups?


I'm familiar with all of these, I think.

Maybe I'm nostalgic, maybe I'm stuck viewing "my" technologies through rose-tinted goggles. Maybe I'm just naive. Maybe I'm just old. It may be that "the kids" are just in to a way of communication that doesn't "feel" right to me and that I'll never understand, and which leads itself to apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc... being _genuinely_ superior to what I once experienced, even when I personally view them as being woefully inadequate compared to something as simple as AIM.

It strikes me as being some sort of Socratic expression that I don't want to delve in to. I just hope that technology is serving "kids" today as well as it served me in the past, and I guess that I have to accept that what _they_ accept is performing that job satisfactorily. Maybe when I have children and they are pre-teen / teen then I will be able to understand their needs again.


>Maybe when I have children and they are pre-teen / teen then I will be able to understand their needs again.

My eldest is about to turn 15, and he and his mates use IRC. He's a wee bit geeky, so "retro", "techie", and "obscure/mainstream unpopular" appeal greatly.

Kinda funny 'cause dad is mostly on Slack/Telegram/WhatsApp these days. To the extent I use IRC at all it is on the channel he set up for the fam.

> I just hope that technology is serving "kids" today as well as it served me in the past

Amen.


Im not a teen, but they might just text.


That's a good point.


EU teen here - most of my friends share memes through Instagram group chat and via WhatsApp (SMS Texts in the US).


facebook is dial tone. Not very fun but useful when you want to communicate. Youtube is content made largely by their peer group. It's fun and dynamic. The comment threads are spicy and you can be a virtual person. Facebook is boring.


> The comment threads are spicy

Ah. Maybe it is specifically for teen. Because every time I scroll down there I instantly regret it. Not only the content of comments have no added value, but it's not funny, or even most of the time remotely intelligible.

And I say that why understanding the appeal of the content in video games forum, which on my personal quality scale is already very low.


YouTube comments have very low value. Much lower than Facebook threaded comments, because at least you're friended those people whereas on YT they're all randos trying to get attention.


View the comments of any widespread post on Facebook like the video on a popular page.

It's even worse than Youtube comments because it shows that people post the same shit under their real name that their friends/fam can see. They aren't people you know.


Does anyone understand the sorting algorithm used? On the rare occasion I go to yt comments, I’m baffled why garbage throwaway comments with few votes are higher than thoughtful highly voted responses.


As far as I know, it's an activity metric. So negative votes send it upwards too, as do many outraged or joke replies.


The comment threads on YouTube are usually inane. If they're not inane, they're racist or homophobic (or both at the same time).

I spent some considerable time the other day reporting racist and hateful comments on a single YouTube video. It's not something I would normally spend any time doing but in this instance it was time well spent.

I've limited my exposure to comment sections on websites to HN only. It's the only place I've found that is reliable to not be full of hate and well moderated. I only watch YouTube videos through DDG these days.


All true: Instagram's more popular than ever though! Still the same company, with the same mindset, still selling data!

People talk about deleting their FB account all the time, but would keep there insta. Facebook, the parent company, is far from losing out.


You’re right.

It’s a weaker position for Facebook though. Instagram is much more vulnerable to competition from Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube than Facebook is.

Facebook is super defensible. No other company has a network like that. If interest shifts from fb to ig then Facebook’s moat is a lot smaller.


Facebook the website doesn't have much to offer, however 'everyone' has one, so its separate messenger app is still very widely used (at least in the U.K.) I'd be interested to know if this is the case in the U.S. as well.


Among my circle of friends and parents at school (K-8), Facebook is eroding as an ubiquitous platform. Many parents in certain professions feel that it is best avoided.

iMessage, SMS is ruling the day now. It’s incredible how utterly Google failed in this space by tossing Talk.


I'm not sure how to interpret the idea that iMessage is doing it right but Google was wrong to shift from talk to hangouts. Hangouts is basically iMessage but you can actually reach the other half of the population that doesn't use Apple.


Hangouts is yet another app. imesssge just works and gracefully degrades when a non iOS person is included.


That's exactly how hangouts works on Nexus and Pixel devices.


It's a closed system too, though.


Yes. But if iMessage is presented as the success and as an example of what Google could have had part of if they only hadn't switched to hangouts, I'm not sure how it works as evidence since google switched to be more like iMessage.

I'm not arguing that I think a system should or should not be open, just that I don't understand how the argument that was presented is supposed to work.


All communication systems are in the process of flipping back to closed systems.

The major open ones (mail and POTS) are either going away as telcos divest and people stop answering the phone or consolidating into a small number of big players as what we see with email.

The 2030s will probably bring back the future equivalent of Telex


But not the majority (last I heard) who has never downloaded a single app from the App Store.


> iMessage, SMS is ruling the day now.

Can you do chat-groups on iMessage? Because that's one of the main advantages of using FB Messenger or WhatsApp around these parts of the world (Eastern Europe).



Yes, but adding anyone who does support iMessage downgrades it to SMS.


And anyone who starts on iMessage but deactivates their account is silently excluded from all future group communication.


Google is failing big in SMS. I have a Google Voice number that I've used since it was announced as Grand Central. Do you know what happens when someone sends a vcard? Nothing good - it just says it isn't supported. There isn't a way on the phone or even from a computer to SEE the vcard. I don't care if you support it, show me the blob of text and I'll read it myself!


I understand a lot of the US still uses SMS, hence the constant talk of iMessage. The rest of the world uses Whatsapp or Messenger, except Japan/China/Korea who primarily use their own clients. Nowadays the only SMS I get are 2FA codes.


SMS I'm guessing is unlikely to be supported by a lot of services in future as 2FA over SMS isn't recommended by NIST (https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/08/nist_is_no_lo...)


iMessage between iMessage users is akin to Whatsapp/messenger -- not actually SMS/MMS. Those are only sent when, say, messaging an Android user or if an iMessage failed to deliver.


iMessage came after WhatsApp (WA itself isn't the first messaging app...), I wonder why WA didn't get big in the US, maybe it's because virtually all mobile contracts in the US include a texting package. As for WA, one key to its success was probably the automatic upload of your address book to see who of your contacts is already in the system (and the privacy side in the battle of privacy vs convenience loses another battle), on other IM clients you had to add contacts manually.


There are texting packages in European contracts as well, particularly in the more competitive markets in North Europe, but one reason to prefer WhatsApp is roaming: in the US, you can use your texting package all over the continent, but in Europe, you couldn't - whenever in a neighbour country, sending an SMS or an MMS could be very expensive, and what's worse, the price is unpredictable or even scammy.

So it was better to use wifi and WhatsApp to communicate. Once you'd fixed your net access, you could be sure of cheap easy text communications.

The EU roaming pricing law has now fixed the original cause, but it is too late to change people's behaviour.


IIRC WhatsApp also cared a lot about making the app available on all kinds of phones. Not just iOS/Android. So all those people in the rest of the world could start using it and bring their families on board.


WA is also practically non-existent in Denmark. If someone is one WA they are either an ex-pat or have lived extensive time abroad and have friends / family they keep in touch with.

Here we also have unlimited texting in all but the most limited pay-as-you-go offerings. The telco market is extremely competitive.


WA used to lie on the App Store / Play Store. It was something like "WhatsApp - Free SMS", when it never send or received SMSs.


I know but for iPhone users it's more or less seamless other than that they know they have fewer features if the bubbles are green.


I'm not sure about that. I don't use Whatsapp at all anymore (and before that rarely). I'm more likely to use SMS with friends within Norway and Messenger for those who aren't in Norway.


I can attest to this (HS student). Although I specifically don't have an account, my peers definitely use FB as a means of communication, a way to publicize for school events, and organize group activities. The network effects run strong.


Messenger is definitely the most popular messaging app where I live (near Vancouver, Canada), and [1] seems to indicate that this is true for most of North America. WhatsApp is still the most popular messaging app worldwide though, although in my experience it is barely used in Canada/USA.

[1] https://www.similarweb.com/blog/mobile-messaging-app-map-201...


> Facebook the website doesn't have much to offer

:thinking_face:

Facebook offers an event planner, a blog platform, photo hosting, video hosting, news aggregation, venmo-like payment system, de-facto single sign on service for most websites

That's in addition to Messenger, which as you said is huge.


The problem is that the blog and news platforms are not great. People often complain that they miss important posts.

I suppose photo sharing is integrated in messenger (the mobile app), too?


When I was a teenager (10 years ago) I found out about Facebook through my own mom. Facebook isn't for the youth, the appeal of Facebook was reconnecting with old friends, and family. To a young person, they usually see their friends in school and their family all the time 'cause they get dragged wherever their parents go. The value of Facebook is a storage facility for memories, once you got a large enough body of people somewhere on the internet the rest of the internet follows as a result.

Edit:

I also hear a lot that most people are on FB due to keeping up with "events" as well. Aside from memories / connecting and events it provides no value back to me. I can call / text / email anyone I know, I guess it's just convenience.


I don't know about that; when I initially asked people about it they were telling me "oh, it's just like Myspace, but better," and it was a few years before I remember seeing teachers or older relatives signing on.


Dunno I thought MySpace was waaaay better. I got to have music on my profile, and I spoke directly with artists I liked, things I never was able to do on any other platform, at least not as common.


Well, you know, wherever your friends are, that's the one you need.


> Now you hide your friend list, avoid saying anything that you wouldn't say in front of your mother and secretly worry that anything you post will be purchased by a potential future employer enabling them to filter out your resume in record time.

Truer words were never spoken. Granted, I still love to use Facebook because I have friends from years ago, all over the country. It's the only way I keep in touch with them. But as another commenter brilliantly put it, they're becoming the yellow pages.


I was in high school when people started using Facebook and I don't really remember it being substantially different than now. I mean, yes, I exercise more restraint in what I post now than I did then, but is that actually a change in the platform or simply the wisdom of age? I remember my friends getting themselves into trouble by posting photos of themselves drunk.


> "You can follow brands but the youth want to follow a band or an actor not a toothbrush company."

At what age is it supposed to become the other way round?


I follow a few brands, but they make guitars or synthesizers, generally speaking. Definitely not following Nabisco or Coca-Cola.


And I can't see why someone young wouldn't follow a game producer company, or a fashion brand.

Noone - whatever their age - cares about toothbrush companies. It was a very contrived example, that's my point


Yes, this is why Instagram and Snapchat are thriving, only those who the user approves can view their posts - and they dissapear quickly


the youth want to follow a band or an actor not a toothbrush company

Exactly. The following is emblematic of what makes YouTube great, which is precisely what YouTube the company and its corporate advertiser don't understand. In fact, it's what they try to kill, and what ideologue shills like Vox and Vice wish they were.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj7Aa866ERY

tl;dw: Actual people being themselves having actual human reactions.


Alright, I'll post this as top-level:

> The sole reason I’m still on Facebook is because events are organized on Facebook. (eksemplar)

I study Music Management at the conservatory (university), and spend most of my time on events and festivals. It is my impression that few in the tech business understands the magnitude of this market, and how Facebook entirely owns it. The entire concert-format is under enormous pressure from the booming festival and club scene, making services like Songkick irrelevant. ResidentAdvisor is good, but too editorial, too little tech.

Facebook democratised event-making in a great way. You can trust that a good portion of the people attending an event is actually going. You can make events private, which is good for pirate-parties and other underground events (Lead Users). And importantly, it gives event makers insight into who is coming, how many, how the growth curve is etc. Artists can link to their personalised profile, that people will actually follow for updates. This is hugely important for creators.

If you start a competitor, it'd be natural to focus on music, but then you'll still leave all the people interested mostly in art-exhibitions on Facebook. Facebook is content-neutral, which is a huge advantage. Further, they have an entire business-suite platform (groups) on top of this, meaning I can discuss our events, plan them, while linking to relevant artists, venues etc on Facebook. I can book artists, book a venue and market the event entirely on the FB-platform. That is an important advantage in the space of social media.

Facebook is, without comparison, the best tool for events.


Yup! Partner dancer here. Not just event-making, but general community organization. Regular venues can have Pages, organize Events, and usually have Groups for their regulars. And all this can be run by one or two part-time or volunteer workers. Annual events usually have a Page that persists year to year, and an Event for each year's event. Facebook is clearly aware of this kind of market - they recently added features that are super useful for multi-day events, like workshops 10-5 every day for a three-day weekend and dances on two of those three nights.


It also baffles me why there is no good (open?) solution for showing, finding and managing events I might want to attend in my town. Music venues, cinemas, theatres, ... all have their own separate listings, and in most places, it is impossible to see them all in one place, let alone to import them to your own calendar, or to get personalised recommendations.


https://www.facebook.com/events/ provides precisely that and is one of the things which makes Facebook such a great platform for events.


Spotify has a great feature that shows you concerts in your area by artists that you've saved. It's how I find out who's playing way early. You can do that on Facebook too but you'd have to actually tell Facebook which artists you like, follow them, etc..


Facebook Local?


Here's my little project that is trying to make live music discovery easier: https://yaymusicmap.com/location/sfbay

But I agree with all your points. FB dominates the event space. It's amazing.

http://world.timeout.com/ does a great job mapping fb events.


Events would be a nice service for Twitter to move into.


I don't think so. Twitter is the social network where I interact with a majority of strangers from far away.


A few days ago I decided I was done with Facebook for good. It just makes me depressed nowadays. I listened to a talk given by Chamath Palihapitiya and another given by Sean Parker and they both used a phrase that kinda freaked me out. They both separately talked about how they specifically designed "dopamine driven feedback loops" to take advantage of user psychology. To get them hooked.

And then I just started realizing how creepy it is that they don't even allow somebody to outright delete their profile unless they have died and their legacy admin proves they have died and deletes it for them.

How creepy is that? They are like a manipulative partner in a relationship, who thinks they have their hooks in you so deep that they act all compassionately when you say you want to break up, but deep inside they are saying to themselves, "You'll be back bitch. You know you need daddy."

It used to be a good thing. I mean i've sparked a few relationships using facebook. But nowadays it's just political banter, pictures of single mother's babies (i lost my baby son 5 years ago so this makes me uncomfortable when im bombarded by everybody else's little bundles of joy), memes memes memes memes, stories about dead/missing people, non stop selfies, and nothing of real substance.

Aren't we supposed to like not know so much about other people so that when we get together we have something to discover about each other? It's like we have gotten to the point where we NEED to know everything about people we actually don't really know that well in real life.

And everybody is competing for points on who can be the most self obsessed and nosey at the same time. I'd rather watch Youtube videos because at least that is art in a way. People taking time to make sure what they say is presented in the best format possible.


A few days ago I decided I was done with Facebook for good. It just makes me depressed nowadays. I listened to a talk given by Chamath Palihapitiya and another given by Sean Parker and they both used a phrase that kinda freaked me out

About 2 weeks after I stopped, I no longer even wanted to use it and actually thought it was a little weird how I ever wanted to. But in 2007, it was cool and fun.


I get facebook and was a user (on and off as I almost annually deleted my account) but then I found it a massive waste of time so gave up entirely just after Christmas.

I did join back up again for one specific facebook group. however I wasn't getting much out of it and on top of that, the Cambridge Analytica debacle just left a bad taste in my mouth and I've dropped facebook entirely, again.

It's been about 3 months now and I really have no desire to sign up again - occasionally I've browsed the group as an anonymous user and nothing has inspired me to join.

I've also dropped Twitter and other social media sits - I feel that until they get their shit together as far as privacy concerns, I'm just not interested in being part of any of that.

So it's HN and a couple of subject specific forums for me, and that will do for my "social media" needs. I've considered joining reddit but the jury is still out on that.


At least FB gives you some control over what you see (I've tucked quite a few "friends" into a dark corner, blocked some annoying persons altogether, tweaked how often I see updated from others) so it is bearable if not very exciting. If I was allowed to vote for the most useless feature that would be Instagrams "stories". I am yet to see a single use of it that I found interesting or entertaining. The worst is that you cannot turn them off :(


Instagram stories are great for sports. Team stories are usually a series of highlights from the previous game.


Teen dad checking in here. YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat seem to be the mainstream among teens right now. I'd argue it is less a reflection on Facebook and more about what they admire and desire. YouTube and Instagram enable them to follow the people and activities that interest them, and entice them to be future "internet stars" too.


Youtube fulfills the desire to broadcast your life in a way Facebook really can't. I think the subscribers vs friends distinction is important here. Twitter followers work the same way. I don't get excited about random people adding me on Facebook, but if a bunch of people follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my channel, it's a different story.

And Instagram + Snapchat are more about looking at what your friends are up to, and offer way more intimate experiences than Facebook. I have never seen a link to a news website or political ad on either platform, but Facebook is littered with them, and it crowds out the content I want to see: pictures of my friends doing cool stuff. If I want astroturfing and news, I go to reddit and HN :P

So Facebook occupies the awkward middle ground, and most people I know use it to collect acquaintances and to exchange Instagram/Snapchat handles.

Source: am teen


As a 29 year old, I’ve just found YouTube much more interesting and actionable recently. Almost every topic is covered and the best content rises to the top.

The recommendation engine is really good now. I’ve added more to my watch later list in the last 6 months than I have in the last 6 years combined.

As an SEO I’m surprised to admit, but I find it better to search directly in YouTube than actual Google search for certain searches.

Google was playing the loooong game on YouTube and it seems to be paying off.


Yup. I’m 33 and stopped using Facebook a year ago. YouTube is what I’m all about. I use it to listen to ML lectures mostly, and I share videos of my robots. Facebook seems like it’s for old people now or something, and I’m disgusted with how creepy that site became.


> Yup. I’m 33 .... > Facebook seems like it’s for old people now...

In the world the article is talking about, you do realise that YOU are one of these 'old people' right?


I'm 34 and recently got into YouTube in a really big way - as a consumer, not a content creator. I still have a Facebook account (for event invitations and Messenger, go figure) but don't look at the newsfeed at all and my hours spent on there are dwindling as the content becomes more and more useless.

My few younger relatives who use FB have very basic "token accounts" that they don't actually seem to use.


Off-topic slightly, but is there a way to change my YT username? In other words, changing https://www.youtube.com/user/[mycurrentusername] to [newusername] ?



What a bizarre requirement. Why should someone need 100 subscribers to do a simple action like changing their account name?

Why not limit how often you can change it, or make some other kind of limitation?


It's weird to me as a (former?) voracious reader how much I get through audiobooks and YouTube now, because it's easier to multitask with them. I listen to a lot of fiction on audiobooks while commuting or working on my house, because I don't have time to laze about reading. I get technical information through conference talks on YouTube, because I can watch it on a treadmill (it doesn't tell you everything you need to know, but you usually get a good idea if eg Kubernetes does a thing you want to do by watching the "Intro to X using Y" talks).


Same here. Since I started listening to audio books a few years ago my commute became so much more enjoyable - I even look forward to longer business trips now-a-day, especially with the new genres coming out, like LitRPG. Sometimes I even look forward to gardening or cooking if I can have the headphones on. A also frequent YouTube, but more as a replacement for TV (try watching John Oliver in Europe over regular TV on demand..).


> I’ve added more to my watch later list in the last 6 months than I have in the last 6 years combined.

Me too, in fact the wife and I save videos over the course of the week to cast to the TV on a Friday night over a few glasses of wine. We've even started to get into a few vlogs, which up until very recently we assumed were talentless narcissistic rubbish. Turns out there are at least a few good ones (mainly travel related in our case).


Have you found Geography Now yet? I find his presentation style and energy really pleasant.


> I’ve added more to my watch later list in the last 6 months than I have in the last 6 years combined.

Are you actually watching it though?


It's a fair question, but mostly irrelevant in this context. As long as users feel engaged with the site and are using it (and thus watching ads), it doesn't matter how long a users's 'watch later' list grows.

I say "mostly" because there's likely some small effect from users who get overwhelmed by the length of their watch list and bounce from the site, but it's hard to avoid links to YouTube if you spend any time on the Internet.


The YouTube links thing is an interesting point. I wonder if that’s how Facebook’s decision to be a walled garden will come back to them. They prevented other sites from indexing and linking to content, but as a result there’s not as much organic traffic into Facebook to reactivate lapsed users. They planned for growth which will hurt their decline.

The walled garden will continue being lucrative though. Especially if they win VR.


Yea a portion of the watch later. The main signal there is that the recommendation engine is so much better than I see tons of recommended stuff that I automatically add to the watch later. In the past it was always - watch one video and bounce because there was a lot of low quality, irrelevant videos recommended.


That last sentence is so true now. I think Facebook lost itself as it has begun to try to become everything to everyone.

The best version of the newsfeed was a newsfeed that could be filtered by content type. It was great when I could view just status updates or photos. Facebook serves a purpose, for me, that is similar to my Twitter now -- as a place to consume news from outlets I subscribe to, like ESPN, The Atlantic, Vox, etc.

Facebook's best move, as a company, was the acquisition of Instagram.

More is not always better. I think Facebook, some few years back, had a shot to build a video publishing platform that could have taken some slice of the pie from YouTube, but now they have a helluva lead. They also have broadcast television and have recently introduced easier ways to share content with those you're already connected to.

It looks like the "walled garden" approach to content distribution and ultimately, the views, which drive advertising revenue is really hurting Facebook as a destination site now.


I get the logic; I wonder if teen writers are attracted to platforms like medium which are both open yet have a certain "followers" aspect to it as well.


I don't have many writer friends, but I think most of them post fics and stuff on tumblr and the AO3. They have the same follower model as well. In fact, on the AO3 you can't even see who follows you, only a count of how many.

Medium to me feels like it's mostly oriented for technical bloggers (even though it sucks for technical blogging!) and success bloggers that tell you to wake up at 4 AM and meditate.


What is "the AO3"?


I had never heard of it but was curious enough to google it: https://archiveofourown.org/

"A fan-created, fan-run, non-profit, non-commercial archive for transformative fanworks, like fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic"

Lots of stuff for fans, apparently.


LiveJournal a decade+ ago.


That is not surprising to me at all. I'm in my 30s and have been using Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat to follow internet personas and keep in touch with family much more than Facebook. So if I am doing it then I am sure teens are well past that point haha.


Mid 20's, for me it's Youtube, WhatsApp and Instagram. Also, Messenger occasionally.


Mid 40's, for me it's Civilization: Beyond Earth and yelling at kids to get off my lawn.


Wow, I thought I was the only person left to still regularly play that game.


> ...only person left to still regularly play that game.

It's no game.

Stay. Off. My. Lawn.


Good idea for a game though. I'm thinking waves of pesky kids that require warning shots from the porch (you lose points if you actually hit them, but you get more points the closer the warning shot goes), then periodic breaks where you can set lawn-traps, and then bonus targets who've come to ask your kids on a date.

All made more difficult because you're not allowed to stop rocking your chair.


I'm pretty sure there's a game like that somewhere in Newgrounds. Which is itself going on 23 years. Damn, I'm old.


Yeah, as if Sid Meyers would so easily return your soul to you.


Sid Meier

It's Sid Meier's Civilization, not Sid Mayers' Civilisation.


I thought the same. It’s a shame there will not be any updates (some aspects of war/diplomacy could do with changing) but it’s still a great game.


College age here, I've recently gotten back into YouTube because it really does seem to cover so much ground than it used to. Before I used to go to YouTube for random funny clips that my buddies send me. Now I find myself going for Tech Reviews, tutorials and an interest in the "internet stars" of YouTube.


FB has always had a MSN.com or Yahoo.com vibe, but with the latest "see other posts across facebook" update, it's gone completely Taboola.

that's not even half as entertaining as instagram or snapchat right now. i feel like snapchat should really be a little bit ahead, because the social experience is a lot more interesting than instagram's, but instagram's larger user base means more interesting pictures and videos right now, even if these videos are a little bit "detached" from the user's social experience.

facebook's social experience has totally lost the plot when they started trimming the social feed in favour of links to websites outside of facebook.

really the crux of these social websites is that they need to have a social experience. if i wanted gossip news or political reading i'd go to a gossip website or a political journal.


I agree with the Yahoo vibe. You know the left wall of navigation items on the desktop browser version of Facebook? That shows eg: Events, Marketplace, Groups, Pages, Friends List, On This Day, Find Friends, Photos, and other similar junk.

It looks just like a portal straight out of 1999. It comes across as generic, soulless - a product trying to be everything that ends up being nothing in particular.

Here's the most recent Yahoo version of that left strip of be-everything-and-nothing portalism icons (archive.org stray example from 2014):

https://web.archive.org/web/20140420105343/https://www.yahoo...

I consume a lot of content from YouTube. It's fun, mostly enjoyable (can easily ignore the trash comments). Facebook is an extremely mediocre product by comparison, it's not much fun at all. I use YouTube regularly to watch video that might include everything from news, movie trailers, documentaries, vblogs, entertainment show clips, sports clips, speaker forums, and so on. Facebook by contrast, I consume with a bare minimum type approach: I use it as little as necessary.

The only two complaints I have about YouTube's product, is the quality of the comments, and there are still too many fake automated junk videos on there (or otherwise the: you won't believe what happened next junk). Most video search results require a bit of filtering through that.


the crux of these social websites is that they need to have a social experience

I think something people forget when they're talking about social media is how new it is. Social sites have yet to prove they're something people genuinely want to engage with in the long term. There's no particularly good reason to believe someone who joins a site in their teens will still be on it in their 30s and beyond. They might move on to something else. Or they might not. Teens might not want to join it now that it's an established platform and not 'trendy', but they might come to it later. We don't know. There is no data for this. No previous social network has lasted long enough to discover what happens.

Let's not forget that Facebook has only been around for 14 years, and for a couple of those it was closed to world outside of academia. 12 years is nothing when you're trying to work out how people use something. This entire thing is a fascinating experiment. We're a long way from drawing any conclusions yet.


Is there anyone in HN legitimately using Facebook anymore? I deleted my account more than a year ago and initially I missed events, but more and more, my conversations and invites are moving to WhatsApp, Discord (surprisingly awesome), Instagram, Signal, etc.

Events are really the only thing I miss from FB. Startup idea for anyone who wants to try to address it: independent Events app that connects with everything under the sun (FB, Google, etc.)


Is there anyone in HN legitimately using Facebook anymore?

Yet another case of "Do people still watch TV? I haven't own a TV in 15 years".

https://www.recode.net/2018/3/1/17063208/facebook-us-growth-...

Facebook is massive in this country. More than two-thirds of Americans, specifically 68 percent, use the service, according to new research from Pew Research Center.


Yes, obviously lol.

It is the primary communication tool for everyone I know in the bay area, excluding professionals that I email or teammates at code for SF that I message on slack.


Oh yeah I forgot Messenger. Discord and WhatsApp replaced that for me.


I would love to switch away from Messenger but all my friends are still using it.


Yes, you're in minority and it's funny that you actually think most people on HN have deleted their Facebook account.

Also, the fact that you put out stand-alone events app as a "startup idea" like it would be something no-one has thought of triggers me. It's probably the most common start-up idea floating around. It's almost a meme. "I have an idea", "oh, another events app to replace Facebook Events?".


Since everyone is saying they still use it: I deleted my account last month. I might have missed a few events but likely none I would have gone to anyway, at worse maybe a house party or two where I know the host and nobody else.

Social life has primarily moved to Whatsapp, which everyone I was talking to on FB was already using so no hiccups. I use Discord but it's primarily for gaming. I much, much prefer anonymous or semi-anonymous social media so I'm mainly on reddit for memes and whatever.

In regards to that event idea: I think where FB really stands out for events was that it functions as a calendar as well. Everyone you invite likely checks FB daily so not only are they guaranteed to see the notification for the invite (rather than it going into a spam folder...) but they're also going to see that event on their homepage whenever they log in. And you can see what's coming up easily, see what your friends are going to etc etc. I think it would be really, really hard to get the same level of functionality cross-platform. Maybe an app with SSO, but it kind of relies on having a strong user base to begin with which is tricky: the ticketing/event management market is already quite saturated. And for social events Facebook is the status quo, I can count on one hand the number of people I know who don't have a Facebook account, FB users have no reason to move to another platform. That said if anyone has an actual plan, hmu, I've got spare time to help.


> Is there anyone in HN legitimately using Facebook anymore?

Yes. Most people on HN are on facebook. Most people in america are on facebook.

If you really want to see the dominance of FB within social media.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-net...

https://www.statista.com/statistics/248074/most-popular-us-s...

> my conversations and invites are moving to WhatsApp, Discord (surprisingly awesome), Instagram, Signal, etc.

Hate to be a bearer of bad news but WhatsApp and Instagram are owned by facebook.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WhatsApp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instagram

So you really haven't left facebook. You've moved within facebook.

My advice is to stop believing clickbait nonsense from news media like bloomberg and what you read on small fringe sites like hacker news.


I never post anything any more. My wife regularly posts pictures of our kids, and I get tagged in those. My mother lives 4+ hours drive away so she doesn't see her grandkids as often as she'd like and appreciates the stream of new photos.


There are enough housewives and grandmothers to keep Facebook going for a long time. They don’t understand why they would use anything else


A frieND of the family recently had a baby and the first thing my mom said to them after getting them a onezi was "I only ask that you post a picture of her in it on Facebook." 90% of the pictures of me on Facebook were posted by my mom. Mom's will keep it around


You say that but my Mom was saying just the other day that it's just full of spam and scams and she didn't see the point of it anymore. Our family photos are shared in a family WhatsApp chat, FWIW.


Yes, of course.

I've gotten a ton of value out of Facebook. I got to know a new friend on Facebook and reconnected with a childhood friend who moved across the country. Local Facebook groups are amazing. Events. Keeping in touch long distance. Messager.


Yes. Aside from events, I also find Facebook groups useful for discourse and networking. I've made great friends from fb groups: startup founders and high level executives who've helped me expand my professional network, recruiters, professors who have now become my mentors, travellers and backpackers whom I get tips from and at one point I've shared a journey with, etc.


It's how I keep in touch with distant family, because a lot of them are on it. Mostly I just post pictures & videos of my kid so they can watch him growing up.

It's where the powers that be decided our local cat shelter's volunteers should share notes, pictures, videos, etc.

And vintage computer collectors largely moved off forums long ago and a lot of the activity is in Facebook groups now.


> It's where the powers that be decided our local cat shelter's volunteers should share notes, pictures, videos, etc.

Imho this is a way underrated aspect of Facebook. I've noticed that a whole lot of small business use Facebook to have a low-barrier, free, and easily updateable internet presence.

In particular, small restaurants, bars, cafes and similar ventures which have daily changing menus. Many of these use pretty much only Facebook to publish this information due to the ease of the process: Snap a picture of the daily menu card/display and post it, done. Literally, your grandma can do it!

When looking for reliable opening times on a place, that doesn't have its own internet presence, Facebook usually has way more up to date/short notices information, compared to opening time information on Google.

It's an interesting aspect about FB that even FB itself seems kind of unaware about.


For better or worse it's the easiest way I can stay up to date somewhat with what friends and family from various places are up to. Sure there are other more active ways to stay in touch. However I can often see curated info from people I'd known when I've lived/visited in various parts of the world.

I'd honestly lose track of them otherwise. Maybe that'd be fine and yes there alternatives, however it would take lots of effort to make the change and it seems to be a case of inertia for me and lots of others.

I was just thinking of shutting it down again then thinking of how I'd stay connected with all the people I already am on FB, seems exhausting. Kinda sad maybe but true in my case.

As an aside, when I hear someone putting down/wondering why about FB and using something like Instagram I find it more than a little funny.


I still have my account as I chat with a few friends using Messenger (via messenger.com) but almost never use facebook.com. I removed everything from my account except for a generic profile picture and cover image. Limited as much as possible to "Only Me" and left it at that.

If I could get those few friends to use something else for chat I would just close out my account but until then it offers me more than it bothers me.

I mostly use WhatsApp (also Facebook obviously) with everyone else. It works great with the desktop app (WhatsApp Web) and phone app. I would prefer to use something like Signal or Wire but getting people to change is pretty much impossible without big external pressure (marketing).


I just browse it 15 times a day and don’t do anything beyond that.


There is a strange lock-in with facebook for me here. I use other apps for talking to close friends or anyone in the know. For talking to my partner or family who aren't very tech savvy Facebook is still the best choice. They are all reliably there and will respond.

I used to vent about politics on there, but I've begun to shy away from that to twitter.


> I used to vent about politics on there, but I've begun to shy away from that to twitter.

Have you considered not doing that on any social media platform?


I keep it mainly to try to track people down for my real estate work. Also I have a couple of friends who seem to insist on messaging me through FB instead of email. So when I go onto FB I always go directly to facebook.com/messages/ and skip the news feed. I don’t even remember the last time I saw the FB feed.


Events are really the only thing I miss from FB. Startup idea for anyone who wants to try to address it: independent Events app that connects with everything under the sun (FB, Google, etc.)

I suspect a large percentage of HN readers have tried to some degree to create an events app. It seems like a no brainer, but the reality is that having a critical mass of users matters more than creating an app that works well. You can't monetize convincingly with ads, commission is only going to work if you can genuinely push people who wouldn't have gone anyway to go to the events, and Facebook already has the users.

Not exactly the same, but Meetup has existed for more than ten years and seems to do ok with a model that charges organizers a small amount.


I quit over 2 years ago. I have kids, and a wife who is on Facebook. If I was a single dad, I'd probably be "forced" to use FB to communicate & coordinate with other kid's Moms and school parent groups etc.

I asked my wife if she uses "Events" since I hear about that so often here at HN and she doesn't - she said she occasionally sees events posted from other users but it's rare. Maybe Facebook Events are for 18-30 year olds and we've aged out?


I use events still and I'm past that age range. It's just a way to organize social gatherings and (rarely) find things to do you wouldn't otherwise know about.

My husband actually creates private events for things he's going to do because it gives him reminders. He could use Google calendar or something for that, sure, but he already uses events.


I don't really use it to communicate with people I actually know anymore, but I'm a member on several Facebook hobby/interest related groups (of strangers) that I enjoy. Also some local neighborhood groups. I do occasionally peruse the Marketplace but haven't actually completed any transactions using it.


I use it like a bloated Twitter service perhaps. I have a lot of family in various parts of the country that barely use Facebook. I also use the groups feature extensively for my various interests. This leads to a healthy amount of linking to other services such as Youtube.

I consider it my portal.


If you have iOS, try Dockit Calendar and let me know what you think. Enable location and it'll show you events in your area, or you can search by location instead. It's a social calendar, so follow people and your feed will get populated with comments and events.


Family, local news, sales, and events are the reasons I still use it. The local sale groups absolutely annihilate Craigslist, letgo, and similar tools.


http://world.timeout.com/ shows most fb events near you


Messenger is really the only way that people contact me


I use it for the music instrument groups, groups is where it's at for me and that's about it.


I only use the messenger part.


I have a friend who has 2 teenage boys. The other day we're talking about stuff on the Internet, and he says something along the lines of "I wish I could monitor what they're watching on the Internet!".

And I was like, I think there's some porn blockers around.

And he replied, "I wish they'd watch porn! They're watching YT, getting crazy ideas from others and doing stupid things!"


Going past the whole "X is better than Y".

Isn't it just a symptom that the next generation doesn't want the same thing as their parents?

e.g. I don't want to live in my childhood home, I don't want to wear my dad's clothes and I don't want to drive his car.

So every largely successful social media platform is doomed to only be `the one` for 1 generation?


One difference is that YouTube vloggers are kinda the new celebrity. A lot of kids would rather be vloggers than Hollywood celebrities.


Generational self-definition is not the only effect, in my experience.

My early teen does not see the point in FB but spends hours on YT if left to her own devices. It’s not a reaction to her parents - she doesn’t care about that (yet?). She likes the relatable people on YT, and the topics they cover - from Minecraft to TED.


Isn't that mostly because his car, clothes, and house are probably behind the times? A social media platform can grow & evolve, a house built sixty years ago can't much.

The things my father owned that are still current are pretty special to me, actually.


Social media platforms can adapt with the times, but they often don't - Facebook was built in an atmosphere of "move fast and break things", but you can't do that when you're a multi-billion dollar company with shareholders who don't like it when you break things.


For YT I would say it's the depth and bredth of choice. Even for music there's no much you can't find.

There's plenty of parent-centric content as well. Working adults just have the same amount of free time so those views are lower.


Generally yes but not sure that’s the main driver in this case.

YouTube’s user content generally has a higher production quality than Facebook posts. It’s also easier to curate and subscribe to the topics you’re interested in, unlike Facebook.


That doesn't explain why YouTube is still gaining momentum, after all these years.


Probably also an effect of an overly-curated feed ruled by a needlessly opaque algorithm. I see some form of pattern where the old desire traditional news curation and authority while the young want to see more of what average people are saying in real-time.


As a parent of two teenage boys who's had this conversation with many parents of teenagers: a) this has been the trend for several years b) they are choosing Youtube over TV, Netflix, etc c) teens go where their parents aren't (Discord, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc).

As I heard a teenager say a couple years ago "why would I create a Facebook account, its for old moms."


> teens go where their parents aren't

> As I heard a teenager say a couple years ago "why would I create a Facebook account, its for old moms."

Precisely. Apart from the illusion of becoming an internet star, kids simply cater to the places where is most unlikely that their parents and older relatives can find them.

Why post the latest slumber party photos on FB, if your aunt could somehow see and comment on those? (yes yes I know, privacy settings, custom lists, private groups, yada yada... )


I talked to my niece who is 19yo. Her take is that everyone is all about

Instagram (basically personal brand/image management, checking out latest styles from other people, styles she can actually afford)

Snapchat (personal circle of friends, unedited content)

YouTube (lifestyle bloggers)

Facebook is dying in their demographic.. pretty fast, except for Facebook pages for things she’s interested in


"unedited content" is a euphemism for sharing nudity.


No, it's really not. I mean sure there is some of that, but you're wrong if you think that's all people use Snapchat for. People share things on Snapchat to their close group of friends which means you're willing to say things you wouldn't say in public about people, say things you wouldn't want your mom to hear, pass secrets around, or just talk in a more "anonymous" way. It's the difference between somebody taking 45 minutes to pose for and edit their next Instagram post vs. sending 45 snaps in a minute without even looking at the picture you take. It's almost like Casey Neistat's Beme--Snapchat encourages you not to care about what you send because it will be gone in 3-10 seconds.


Yes you hit the nail on the head. I most certainly did not mean nude by unedited content.


Its a good idea really. Many business' don't record instant messenger because of its private nature.


The op was referring to a teenager... Unedited content absolutely is nudity. It's actually the reason Snapchat was invented.


It's the reason sc was invented but definitely not what it has evolved into. I'm aware there's porn accounts but the majority usecase is simply a low-friction 0 commitment method of sending pictures/thoughts/happenings


Unedited content is more referring to the style of posts. I joined Twitter in the phase where people would Tweet "My Chipotle server gave me a lot of rice today." Now of days, if you're an average Joe, that's a Tweet most people brush over. With Snapchat, though, it transforms the message of that Tweet in today's generation much cooler simply by way of pictures. A candid photo of a Chipotle bowl that looks delicious? That once boring Tweet is now more interesting. Both are "unedited" such that they are candid posts, but Snapchat found a way to actually make the uninteresting fairly interesting.


YouTube is the world's greatest repository of culture. And shitty comments. But mostly the culture thing. And Facebook is a bulletin board. No competition.


My 13 year old uses mostly YouTube, Instagram, Discord, Twitch, and Reddit, no FB.

I have nieces and nephews on FB, but they never post much, they hide most of their real content on anonymous Instagram accounts.


My teens don't even have accounts.

They used to talk about when there would be more dead people on facebook than alive. I think they were mistaken about the alive people still on facebook part.

Facebook is going to be a small, odd, digital graveyard from the early 'net.


I'm curious what these kids who start out on Facebook as sonogram pics are going to think of Facebook when they become cognizant.


The first of those may be teenagers this year.


Eventually this sad crowd will get their own generational letter designation.


thats an awesome thought


Disclaimer: I work on a large high school social app.

High school kids hate facebook. It is what their parents use and they view it as a historical ledger of their actions. They view facebook more like a 'yearbook' not as a day to day hangout.


Although this might not add any value to the general discussion, i feel the urge to break my lurker-silence and share my latest epiphany: end-twenties german compsci-student here. in retrospective, my act of leaving facebook and (obviously in contrast to a lot of other users here) not replacing it with any substitute "social media" account might have had a bigger impact on my life as i would have guessed. Since years, i have been using Telegram, signal, SMS, the gold old phonecalls, email and IRC (my jabber contacts also moved to signal, etc.) and i can guarantee you to have a pretty reduced social life. In a more active phase of my life (a couple of years ago) i still went frequently to concerts with 2-3 friends who would send me routinely emails containing facebook-screenshots etc. ... Nowadays i lead a life most separated from the rest of the "social" world. Of course i still have friends and visit Them from time to time, etc. ... But on facebook i realized my self-consuming habit of constantly checking what other ppl i rarely knew thought or did or "liked". I have to admit that despite this time consuming social media habits i could really lead a reflected and productive life, but to be honest i still put feel time into passively(!) surfing the net, reading and watching a lot of news, journals, trivia, etc. Through other eyes this comment might seem bitter, but i actually enjoy my life without this burden of social media platforms on myself. Are here some other 'conscientious objectors'?


For me HN is more valuable than FB. Value of HN has stayed the same for me over the years while the value/utility of FB has gradually eroded and I hardly ever use Facebook now.


This seems like a strange comparison. Teens have eschewed FB in favor of Instagram and Snapchat for years. My feeling is that YouTube is simply becoming more popular and Facebook is becoming less. This is like saying that "America's Teens are Choosing Buzzfeed Over Facebook." They aren't even in the same category. The writing is on the wall for FB as a web property.


I am wrapping my head to think about what Facebook could do that I can't live without. Essentially, it is a contact book. But it is so much more complex than just that. It has a bit of everything: Photo sharing, Event organization and opinion advocating.

But as it all adds up, Facebook is becoming less and less social overtime: people posted stuff, but they don't really expect interactions, they only want reactions, and the ones they expected. Unlike chatting, unexpected conversation could happen, and could genuinely help discovery of new perspectives. Facebook, in its current form, is just a static wall of trophies, a decorated personality about what you want people to think you are. It is tiring and indeed requires high maintenance.

It will not be surprising to me, that Facebook's downfall is just the beginning, they might keep buying other social apps, but it does little to keep their current audience from going away.


Let's back up for a second...

This article only refers to usage as 'visit(ing)' the sites, but nothing about interaction. Are we to assume that teens are actively consuming and producing content on YouTube?

There's a huge difference here. When I still had Facebook I would have never said I spent most of my time there. It's very easy to say YouTube consumes more of your time considering how easy it is to go down the rabbit-hole of related videos, how-tos, etc.

Even my dad always tells me to 'get on the YouTube' to look up videos on how to do things when he isn't here to show me because it has videos 'on everything'.

What I'm really getting at is there are completely different uses for each site. For advertisers it's important to know where the majority of time is spent but I don't think that means Facebook is becoming irrelevant.


I see Facebook and YouTube as completely different and I think a lot of people would agree. For most people YouTube is all about consuming. Sure some people make videos, but most go nowhere. Most people are just using it to fill their day, or for background noise while they do other stuff, just like people have been doing with TV for years.(why do you think YouTube made autoplay a thing). Facebook is more about connecting with people and expressing yourself than it is about consuming things.


I renovated my house using skills learned mainly from YouTube videos.


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