Facebook’s IPO is just around the corner, putting a fresh focus on the social net. In tech terms, Facebook is kind of an old site having been around since 2004, and Millennials have grown a little tired of the site. But that’s not to say they aren’t using it.
Facebook may not be the cool social network anymore — all the recent buzz has been about Instagram, Pinterest, and other niche networks — but Facebook is still the site most Millennials are on. Some 93% have a Facebook profile, according to Ypulse research, and it’s for that reason that they’ll continue to use it. Nearly all of their friends are on it, so they feel the need to be on it to keep up with what their friends are doing.
Leading up to the IPO, people are questioning the site’s staying power — after all, the tech market moves fast. But Facebook has become utilitarian, which may seem decidedly uncool, but it’s that aspect that keeps Millennials coming back. Nowhere else can they reach nearly all of their friends in one place with status updates, links, photos, and videos. They have a love/hate relationship with the site, but they still encourage their few friends who don’t have a Facebook profile to get one to make it easier to keep in touch. Yes, it makes communication somewhat less personal, but it also makes it easier to manage their social lives, and they’re willing to make that trade off.
With all of their friends on Facebook, the site is also their primary source of social currency. They truly are what they post because not everyone is around when they crack the perfect joke or want to watch a hilarious video. Sharing the best status updates, linking to breaking news, and posting the latest funny clips on Facebook before anyone else makes them the center of their social circle and the person people want to be connected to in order to keep up with what’s happening. They haven’t yet found a better site for sharing what’s on their mind and what they’re into.
Even if they sometimes hate their reliance on the site, Millennials will continue to use Facebook because (so far) nothing else comes close to letting them communicate with their whole social circle. It lets them connect all the ways and media through which they prefer to share.