Meta Reasserts Focus on Young Adults as the Future of Facebook

When you think of the 20-year-old social network that is Facebook, its popularity among “young adults” is what comes to mind. Naturally, Meta wants to change that and the company is once again informing the world of its intentions to reorient its platform in order to attract that demographic.

In from Tom Alison, who leads the Facebook app for Meta, he indicates that the service is evolving to reflect an “increased focus on young adults” compared to other users. “Facebook is still for everyone, but in order to build for the next generation of social media consumers, we’ve made significant changes with young adults in mind,” he wrote.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because Meta executives have been attempting to win over “young adults” for years in a bid to better compete with TikTok. Almost ago, Mark Zuckerberg stated his desire to make young adults the company’s “North Star.” Alison and Zuckerberg have both been discussing a shift in the Facebook app’s design towards a feed rather than one based on users’ connections.

That shift is now well in progress. Alison mentioned that the company’s AI improvements have already enhanced recommendations for Reels and the feed, and that “advanced recommendations technology will power more products” over the next year. He also noted a rise in private sharing among users, with more users sharing video (though there was no mention of the plan to bring messaging back into the main app).

Interestingly, Alison’s note omits any reference to the “metaverse,” which Zuckerberg previously viewed as a key aspect of the company’s future. Instead, he emphasizes “leaning into new product capabilities enabled by AI” as a major goal, along with attracting younger users. This is not surprising, given that Meta and Zuckerberg have recently attempted some of the company’s metaverse ambitions as AI advancements.

However, it remains uncertain how effective Meta will be in its efforts to captivate young adults. Although Alison claims Facebook has experienced “five quarters of healthy growth in young adult app usage in the U.S. and Canada,” with 40 million young adult daily active users, that’s still a relatively small fraction of the 205 million daily U.S. Facebook users the company reported in February, the last time user numbers for the app were disclosed.

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