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Facebook is a ‘fad’

New poll shows Americans believe social media’s standard bearer is about to burn out

It has almost a billion users, it is currently preparing for the biggest Internet IPO ever (with predictions that it could raise over $100 billion), its 2012 revenue is expected to top $4 billion and it has been credited for changing content dissemination and, as a result, content creation. And yet, according to a new Associated Press-CNBC poll, almost half of Americans think Facebook is ‘a passing fad’.

Tellingly, 50 per cent of people also think Facebook is overvalued (and it will be interesting to see the final valuation – expected on Friday) and 31 per cent don’t believe it represents a good investment. Not surprisingly , though, the younger generation (defined in the poll as under-35) is most likely to buy – and buy into – anything and everything to do with Facebook.

As AP reports, the reasons for this are simple: ‘Those under 35… [have] grown up immersed in the social network. They were the first users, logging in from their college dorm rooms. Later, Facebook expanded to allow high school-age and even younger students to sign up. It’s become an integral part of their lives, giving them a launching pad to spread the news of life’s major developments through posts and pictures.

‘Conversely, it’s the rare senior citizen on Facebook: Just 21 per cent have an account. Half of baby boomers – the generation born in the years after World War II – have one. But most of the 56 per cent of the country that’s on Facebook is young – two-thirds of Gen Xers and a staggering 81 percent of people 18-35 use the social networking site.

‘Young people aren’t just connected. They are constantly tethered to smartphones, tablets and notebook computers. Even with the rise of alternative social networks like Twitter and Google Plus, 55 per cent of Zuckerberg’s peers go on Facebook every day. A third log on several times a day.’

And yet despite this, even the majority of young adults polled (51 per cent) believe Facebook’s appeal will fade as something new comes along. The question is, are you among them? Do you believe in the Facebook hoopla or is its time in the social media sun about to come to an end?

 

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