There’s a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which is claiming that more than a quarter of users plan on spending less time using Facebook. The most alarming statistic is that 38% of the coveted 18-29 demographic that consumes so much of the Internet is planning on spending less time on Facebook. Lastly, 61% of all users plan on taking a “Facebook vacation” this year.
Here’s a breakdown of the reasons. At the top of the list is: “Too Busy” (21%), “Not Interested” (10%), and “Waste of Time” (10%). That’s over 40% who are tired of Facebook and are looking for something new. If Facebook were a guy, he’s about to be dumped.
This clearly means there is a big opportunity for other social media to fill the gap. Social media is not going away, just like TV or other forms of communication and entertainment.
My belief is that Facebook, despite all it’s efforts to get folks to use Apps, is not fulfilling the most basic of social needs: the ability to connect in deep and meaningful ways.
Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing pictures of my friends’ kids, watching food porn (you know who you are!), vacation pictures and happy birthday wishes. But I don’t think Facebook is helping to deepen any relationships and I might even argue it’s lessening them because it’s so convenient. There is no substitute for face-to-face human interaction.
We already have the technology today to make human interactions much richer with live video, voice and chat. I’m waiting for a platform that allows me to find real, live video talk about the topics I’m most interested in… a place where I can meet like-minded people who are having conversation, not guided by mainstream media.
Twitter is the closest thing to that today, but with 140 characters and no video, it’s also very shallow. I’m looking for a place where you can express your opinions in depth (or watch others do it) and get immediate reaction and feedback. Some blogs and message boards do that today, but there’s nothing like video to get the fuller experience.
There’s no doubt that a company who sees the same window I’m seeing will fill the void soon and steal market share and users from Facebook.