by Graham Pierrepoint
Facebook is arguably the foremost social network on the web – after almost fifteen years at the forefront of digital communication, the Big Blue F continues to pull in millions of users worldwide. It has, however, been feeling the pinch from newer contenders in the market such as Snapchat and Instagram – and while the network has largely rolled with the punches that such rivals have been bringing, it remains to be said that the site has all been for reinvention over the years in an effort to stay relevant. The site’s current concerns, it seems, revolve around exactly how we’re using the site – and after renewed focus on attempting to encourage users to get more ‘personal’ with the way they use the service, it seems that the network’s staff are increasingly concerned about how their users intend engage with one another going forward.
Facebook was designed to be a social tool, one which you could safely share memories, photos and life events on with those you may not see on a regular basis – however, since 2014, the world has changed dramatically – and it seems that our Facebook posts, and user behavior, has changed beyond all recognition. Facebook, according to The Independent, is concerned about a phenomenon termed as ‘context collapse’ – which is coming around as less and less people are sharing personal moments on the platform, instead choosing to offer snapshots and stories through services such as Snapchat.
This is a big concern for Facebook, as they having been pushing to engage users on ‘personal sharing’ for some time – the platform has grown into a hybrid of political discussion, meme-sharing and more besides – and has seemingly evolved beyond the social stratosphere it cultivated in the early 00s. Social media is growing to the extent where we simply aren’t using it for personal means as much anymore – it’s become an extension for our personalities and beliefs.
Facebook is therefore set to encourage personal sharing as much as possible – possibly in the fear that they will lose personal posting to emerging contenders such as Snapchat, who have grown considerably in the past few years. Snapchat, in fact, refused a buy-out from Marc Zuckerberg’s brand – meaning that the fight for top social engager is still very much on. No matter what you use Facebook for, however, it has successfully cemented itself into our lives as an essential part of our culture – like it or not!