LUSO.us: Why Do We Still Need Facebook Today? — Facebook has been criticized for years and active users in Germany are on the decline.
According to Facebook, around 32 million people in Germany have accounts on its social network. Whatsapp, which also belongs to Facebook, makes it the most popular social media platform in Germany. But fake news and data protection scandals have shaken the trust of many users on the platform.
In addition, other networks such as Instagram, as well as a subsidiary of Facebook, or Tiktok are now increasingly attracting interest young users. Facebook’s user base is getting old. Active usage is also declining and many users are logging into the platform less frequently, says media coach Teja Adams.
Why you still have to sign up for Facebook today? You definitely need an account to connect with family and friends, say media journalist Daniel Fiene. “However, for most users, Facebook no longer has this task.”
Most people will now post elsewhere, either on the family Whatsapp group or on Instagram. Nevertheless, Facebook is still interesting: “Many users use the platform to manage contacts and find out about events.”
All groups are on Facebook
In this regard, Facebook benefits from its large user base in Germany, which according to have Adams, is Facebook’s biggest advantage over other networks. Facebook is aimed at almost any group of users. For Adams, because it’s clear: “Facebook is, therefore, the network where you still have the greatest opportunity to meet friends and acquaintances.”
Another reason in favor of Facebook is the many possibilities the platform offers, Adams said. “Compared to other networks, Facebook offers the greatest range of functionality. For example, users can chat, post and tag, or join groups and communicate.
Events are a classic and widely used area. Private individuals and organizations can create events here and signify their participation or interest in an event. “Users can see which of their friends are there and exchange information about the event,” kata Adams.
Apart from that, groups on Facebook are still very interesting. “For each topic, no matter how specific, you can find the right group on Facebook,” said Adams. Another strength of Facebook is seen in the group, namely the high level of local differentiation.”It is not only possible to find groups for your own benefit, but also in your own local environment.”
Always new functions
However, in recent years, Facebook has also added more basic functions such as games, live video, or marketplaces to the platform. The latter works in a similar way to eBay classifieds. Overall, there are lots of different functions Facebook uses to address different target groups. “But there is no longer a function that guarantees Facebook to be a completely unique selling point or one that really transcends borders,” kata Adams.
Problems are also seen in other areas. Some key features such as news feed no longer work properly, Adams said. The real heart of Facebook is overloading, posts from friends are often overridden by other posts. Therefore, the news feed is no longer of interest to many people.
“But Facebook isn’t going to die anytime soon,” Adams believes. The network is too large worldwide and too embedded in day-to-day processes and work processes. Adams also believes the user base will remain stable. Even if there are no new, younger users, there is still a potential new group of users. among older people.
And Facebook is also trying to get a foothold in audio trends. Soundbites, a new format for short and creative audio content, and live audio space have been announced.
The user guide is clear, anyone will easily understand
However, in the past, Facebook has been repeatedly criticized for its opaque default settings and misleading design in the user interface. “By design, Facebook should allow users to make good decisions, “said Matthias C. Kettemann of the Leibniz Institute for Media Research in Hamburg.
Kettemann’s media researcher is highly critical of so-called dark patterns. This is the name given to the user manual, which is intended, for example, to tempt you to disclose personal data or spend more time on the platform than you would actually like.
However, in recent years, Facebook has also made improvements due to legal initiatives such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). “Although the privacy setting on Facebook used to below from the start, it’s now set higher by default, “said Kettemann.
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