Stillwater News Press

Our World

August 17, 2013

Is Facebook hurtling toward irrelevance?

In baseball, trend-spotting tends to be based on statistical analysis. In fashion, it's driven by runway shows. And when it comes to social networks, the ascendant paradigm for forecasting the future seems to center on first-person anecdotes and unsupported hearsay from random teen-agers.

Earlier this year it was Josh Miller's unnamed 15-year-old sister who drove the media conversation around the alleged decline of Facebook and the rise of Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr. This week it's a post on the social-media blog Mashable by a 13-year-old HelloGiggles correspondent named Ruby Karp. Her post, headlined "I'm 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook," has garnered some 36,000 Facebook shares since it was published on Sunday. It has, predictably, launched a fresh armada of blog posts heralding the imminent fall of the great social network.

"Is this the beginning of the end for Facebook?" one asks. "Is Facebook hurtling toward irrelevance, or is it already there?" wonders MSN. Mashable's own Todd Wasserman was moved by Karp's post to speculate about whether Facebook is the next Yahoo. The Huffington Post this week is hosting a live video segment centered on the question, "Without Teens, Does Facebook Have a Future?"

That's an interesting hypothetical. But - call me old-fashioned - I'd prefer to draw data from a slightly wider sample than Ruby Karp and Josh Miller's sister before drawing firm conclusions about the death of Facebook among teens. To be clear, I'm not saying that posts like Miller's and Karp's are without merit. When analyzing the prospects of billion-dollar companies whose fortunes rely in significant part on their cachet among young people, it's great to hear from some actual teens now and then among all the middle-aged talking heads. But the sweeping generalizations some media outlets were quick to make on the basis of Karp's blog post left me wondering: Did they actually read it?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Stocks
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'