Does Facebook’s declining relevance with teenagers really pose an existential threat to the company? After all, Facebook’s most loyal users are people over age 30 and today’s teens are tomorrow’s 30-somethings — if they do not start using Facebook while they’re young there is no guarantee they will later in life.

But Facebook today serves a different purpose than it did a decade ago, and would-be challengers like Snapchat and TikTok are not well-positioned to threaten the social media platform’s dominance with older users. To do that they’d probably have to change their products significantly to more closely resemble Facebook, perhaps turning off their core base of young people.

explain why older users find it essential: it is become a digital hub for news, politics and interest groups. I’m on my city’s Planning Commission and when we switched to virtual meetings during the onset of the pandemic, one of the ways we did that was by broadcasting our sessions live on Facebook. Local elected officials and city government departments post news and updates. My wife is a member of multiple local mom groups where she will buy and sell kids clothing and toys. It is a place where communities post notices of events and other social gatherings. It is generally just a big ball of stuff relevant to older people that would be hard for another company to unbundle.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook