Facebook Isn't Cool Anymore (And That's What It Has To Fix Today)

Mark Zuckerberg

Photo: AP

Facebook is holding a big press conference today at its Menlo Park headquarters.We’ll have live coverage out the wazoo.

No one really knows what it will announce.

But we do know something it needs to announce.

Something cool.

Something that makes you want run and log onto the site and try it out right away – the way you wanted to buy an iPhone after Steve Jobs talked about it.

The fact is, Facebook is not cool anymore.

The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger – who used to regularly profess his love for Facebook when he worked here – describes Facebook’s loss of coolness very well:

There’s no numerical evidence that Facebook has “lost its cool,” but you can feel it. You hear people talking about it. Instead of seeing Facebook blue illuminating the phones of fellow subway and bus riders, you see Instagram or Snapchat or Twitter. Facebook has become a normal thing — a “social utility” everyone uses but few are excited about.

The only thing Hamburger gets wrong there is that there is numerical evidence that Facebook has “lost its cool.”

Check out this chart.

It’s sourced from a survey of more than a thousand teenagers.

It shows that Tumblr has passed Facebook as their most-used social network:

social network usage

Photo: Garry Tan

Last night, someone on my Twitter feed said Facebook is a thing you have to use because everybody uses it. No one actually likes it, this person said.

Probably, that’s an exaggeration. Almost a billion people use FacebookProbably, amongst non-coastal, non-techie, “normal people,” it’s still very much a cool, beloved Website and app.

But when it comes to tech products, the soured opinion of early adopters does tend to spread inward from the coasts. Just ask Yahoo.

Back when he was a sophomore in college, Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg said he wasn’t worried about making a lot of money with his project, then-called thefacebook.com. 

He said, “I’m content to make something cool.”

It was easy for him then.

These days, that seems like a huge challenge.

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