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    Facebook's Aging Audience Has Sent The Platform Into Panic Mode

    “The things that made Facebook what it is have been compounded into ‘Facebook is this place for toxic boomers and therefore younger people don't want anything to do with it.’”

    On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed Facebook's rough October. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

    Listen to BuzzFeed Daily on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever else you might listen to your favorite podcasts!

    So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to BuzzFeed News reporter Katie Notopoulos about Facebook’s recent PR woes and what it means for their future. Here's some of what we learned:

    BuzzFeed Daily: OK, so Facebook has been in the news a lot recently. First, there was the whistleblower who alleged Facebook knew how detrimental Instagram is to the mental health of teenage girls. Then there was the massive service outage. And now there's the report that Facebook is planning on rebranding by changing its name. So is Facebook having a uniquely bad month or are they just under more scrutiny as the world's largest social media platform?

    Dear Facebook: We've received your request to change your name. However, due to our real names policy, you will first need to fax us a copy of your court order and new driver's license....

    Twitter: @inafried

    Katie Notopoulos: I would say they're definitely having a uniquely bad month. The service outage does seem to be a random fluke occurrence, but much more damaging is the whistleblower stuff. There was first a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal that was based on some of the documents that this whistleblower, Frances Haugen, had taken out of the company. And then this week, there's been a whole new slew of articles that show a lot of the really core problems going on at Facebook.

    BuzzFeed Daily: It almost feels like we're witnessing the beginning of the end for Facebook. I know that's a pretty big statement, but as someone who's done a lot of coverage on Facebook for BuzzFeed News, does that ring true to you at all?

    🚨Whoa. Major news from Zuckerberg: He says Facebook moving forward will "retooling" to make "serving young adults the north star, rather than optimizing for older people." — Says the "shift will take years, not months."

    Twitter: @sarafischer

    KN: You know, Facebook does have this amazing ability to have bad news wash off its back. And even though these reports in the media are very damning, I don't know what will happen. It's hard to say. I do think perhaps the biggest indicator of the beginning of the end is one of the reports that showed just how panicked Facebook is about losing its youngest users — teenagers — and that young people don't want to sign up for Facebook anymore. And even on Instagram, they're still signing up, but they post less. So that actually feels like potentially a really huge crisis for Facebook.

    BuzzFeed Daily: It is interesting because we haven't been in this position before. We don't really know what the shelf life is for a company like Facebook. MySpace was different. It was telling of what was to come. But we still don't know what the future of Facebook is, or of other platforms. But depending on where Facebook goes, do you see other platforms meeting the same fate?

    Photo of Mark Zuckerberg

    BuzzFeed Daily: You mentioned this earlier, but probably the most concerning issue, at least for Facebook shareholders, is a leaked report on how its share of younger users is declining. It turns out that kids just don't like Facebook very much. Do you know why that might be?

    If social media apps were different generations: Facebook is a boomer. Twitter is Gen X. Instagram is millenial. Tiktok is a zoomer.

    Twitter: @seerutkchawla

    KN: I think that one factor is simply that there is stiff competition from Snapchat and TikTok, which offer essentially different services, right? You use them in a different way. They're more fun. I think there's a good argument for the things that have made Facebook popular, the sort of core product of a place where you like and share and see the activity of everyone else around you and post messages that are either personal or political. Those things have kind of incentivized the politically charged boomers, which is not what young people want. And so the things that made Facebook what it is have been compounded into "Facebook is this place for toxic boomers and therefore younger people don't want anything to do with it." So that's possible, too. But it's really that young people see it as, "Oh, that's Facebook. That's for people in their forties."

    BuzzFeed Daily: Speaking of these politically charged boomers, I think a lot of us would point to the 2016 election as the big turning point in public sentiment towards Facebook. They've received tons of criticism for how they handled themselves in and around that time. And I'm wondering if you feel like Facebook has suffered from simply being the first of its kind or whether there were clear-cut mistakes that could have been avoided?

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    As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at