There has been a lot of talk recently about the reluctance of young people in general and adolescents in particular to use Facebook and their transition to other social platforms, especially those that target exclusively smartphones, or those that focus on interactions that leave no trace, such as the Snapchat application. The large number of articles written on this subject makes you confused about the reality of this matter. But there is a point that we must point out, which is that this discussion mainly concerns Americans, especially Facebook investors, who are concerned about their future income from the network. But with regard to the rest of the countries of the world, this issue is not that important because we – quite simply – do not have any accurate data on the matter, as most of the studies that we hear about concern only North America and may exceed the matter in the best cases to include the Anglophone world.
If we searched more, we would find statistics that do not concern the aforementioned places, such as those published by Ifop regarding the use of social networks in France, for example, which help you understand the market of social platforms in France and may help you form a general picture if compared to American statistics. The study, published by Ifop, is titled “ Are We Bored of Social Networks?” .” It is not easy to confirm or deny the state of boredom intended in this study, but it is certain that the arena has become teeming with many social platforms to a degree that can be described as social crowding.
There are two points that must be taken into account when reading this study, the first of which is related to the data of the study, as opinions were surveyed electronically (on the Internet), and the study included 2000 people over the age of 18 years, during the month of November 2013. The second point is the confusion that occurred in this study ( Which it seems that this study is not unique to it alone) between social networks and social media / social platforms in general, Youtube cannot be considered a social network even though it is a social media, and the same applies to Twitter or even Deezer.
Nevertheless, this study gives us a clear picture through recent and rich statistics on the French “social market”, statistics that can be summarized as follows:
In terms of reputation, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are still leading, but other platforms such as Google+, DailyMotion and Deezer have made significant improvements.
Facebook is at the forefront in terms of popularity, with 63% of those polled using it, and Google+ has made significant progress, with 32% of its users.
With regard to the frequency of users on these social platforms, Facebook also occupies the lead, as the percentage of users who visit the social network more than once a week exceeds 80%.
But if we compare the frequency of users on these social platforms with the numbers registered on them, we will be able to know which specialized social platforms (niche) are doing well, as is the case with Tumblr , Pinterest or even Twitter . Thanks to this comparison, we can also know the abandoned social platforms, such as the two platforms Picasa and Trombi , for example .
Finally, the study indicates that 86% of French people use (or at least have accounts) on at least one social network (an average of 4.5 social networks per user).
Based on these statistics, it can at least be certain that we are on the verge of saturation on social platforms , and the signs of this appear clearly in the way we use these social platforms, as nearly half of those surveyed indicated that they discuss and publish less on social platforms than ever before , and it is due According to them, the matter is due to the fear of theft or exploitation of personal data (an argument we are accustomed to hearing), the pressure of advertisements, lack of time and the need for direct social communication (instead of virtual), which drives 40% of the participants in this study to want to close their accounts on these platforms.
Is it the end of social platforms?
It may not seem like it, but it seems that the element of “novelty” (meaning that these social platforms are something new that everyone wants to try) has expired, just as it did with blogs , and it seems that the center of attention has now shifted to platforms with a visual dimension. As is the case with Instagram and Pinterest, but it is expected that it will not last long with these social platforms as well, as we will get bored with our frequent use of them and we will look for alternatives to them. In fact, the shift of the spotlight from one social platform to another is not due to its disappointment of our hopes that we pinned on it, but rather to the decline in the value that we used to get when we used it, and this is according to the change of our needs and desires.
Although this study combined social networking tools such as Skype with open platforms that do not require registration such as Twitter and YouTube and tightly closed ones such as LinkedIn, as the study would have provided a more accurate picture if it had been limited only to social networks or had it been expanded to include all Social platforms (even e-mail and SMS messages) and platforms that are available exclusively on smartphones (SnapChat, WeChat, Kik…) but they give us a picture of the state of using social networks outside the countries where such studies are usually conducted (North America), which enables us to add More clarity on the mechanics of our use of these social platforms.