On reaching “peak Facebook”.
“I think it is clear that younger generations, even in South Africa, are moving away from Social Media as we know it.
The rate of growth has slowed and the signs are (for the existing big channels at least) that the growth trend will in fact soon reverse. We are approaching (in my opinion) “peak social media” as we know it (sure, the decline will be slower, almost invisible in SA, as starting from our low penetration, there is lots of room for “hollow growth” – whereby new users replace old users as they abandon platforms but either way, the growth rates are still slowing).
The next evolution of human-internet-socialising will be different – possibly live voice-based communication (a la Alexa); and almost certainly more effervescent and less “permanent”, as in Instagram “stories”, Telegram communities, and Whatsapp / Snapchat type services that require less commitment and more immediacy. We will also see more niche, private social media channels as the internet community fragments into echo chambers, the same way as society at large is doing offline. “
For more on the Peak Facebook phenomenon, see this article by Gina Bianchini:
“Big brands will be the last to leave. Unlike creators and Group admins, big brands will stick with Facebook for as long as possible. Despite CPMs jumping 171% in one year, big brands have institutionalized Facebook ad buying and posting not only with budgets but with dedicated teams. They’re too invested to acknowledge the writing on the wall, despite objectively diminishing returns.”