Social media is no longer a one or two horse race. Where giants like Facebook and Twitter used to dominate, new platforms are rising and gaining users. Facebook in particular has struggled as younger users have stopped using the platform while older generations are taking over the social network.
In a bid to hold the attention of marketing companies and younger consumers, Facebook has released multiple smaller apps to try to compete with other platforms. While Facebook Messenger has been successful, most of the others have failed with varying levels of disaster. Snapchat in particular has been difficult for Facebook to match.
Experts suggest that one of the reasons young people are leaving Facebook in droves is that their parents are monitoring their presence on the platform. In contrast, a primary reason that Snapchat is so popular is that its messages are ephemeral, meaning that they disappear after a short time. Teens can say whatever they want, with little fear of being caught or reprimanded.
In an attempt to match this, Facebook recently premiered an ephemeral messaging option on Messenger for French users. Just like Snapchat, messages will disappear after a set amount of time. It’s unclear whether the new feature will be released generally, or if marketing companies will catch hold of the idea, but one thing is certain: Facebook remains committed to staying relevant.