Let’s start by stating the obvious: Facebook has been mired in controversy for a while now.
It started with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where we found out that millions of users’ data had been handed over to third-party firms. In that particular case, it was used to rig political elections, among other things.
There is, of course, the ongoing discussions on how Russian entities used Facebook to meddle in the US elections. The investigation into the extent of Russia’s impact is still under investigation, but the public consensus seems to be that Facebook was a pawn in that geopolitical battle.
And there were less high-profile controversies, like when it came out that the company was retaining videos that users had ostensibly deleted. Or Facebook’s admission that it scans content sent over Messenger. The list goes on and on.
To sum things up, it has been a trying couple of years for the social media giant. And its users. In the process, Facebook found out that not all press is good press. It turns out that Facebook’s younger demographic are less than impressed with developments. One survey concluded that as much as 44 percent of Americans aged between 18 and 29 deleted the Facebook app in the last year.
Facebook’s fall from grace raises an important question for businesses. Is it still important for digital marketers to cater to the social media network in 2019? All of the acrimony surrounding the company has led some to conclude that it’s time to move on from Facebook to alternative platforms. But it isn’t. Facebook will continue to be a valuable channel for businesses to reach out to new customers. Here’s why.
Despite its travails, Facebook continues to be a global phenomenon. As of the third quarter of 2018, the social network has 2.27 billion monthly active users. That is a 10 percent increase in year-on-year figures. 1.49 billion of those people are daily active users. Facebook doesn’t just have massive reach, it also has an audience that is highly engaged. This, for obvious reasons, makes the social network a goldmine for digital marketers.
Access to Other High-Reach Platforms
Facebook is clearly a behemoth all on its own. But that’s not all. The company has become a multi-tentacled monster by acquiring other huge companies–namely, Instagram and WhatsApp. The former reached 1 billion monthly active users this year and continues to display strong growth. Whatsapp recently announced it may start displaying ads in statuses, making it another resource available to marketers. Facebook’s ad platform will give digital marketers a way to reach diverse target markets across its different apps and products.
Continued Preeminence Among Social Networks
Sure, Facebook has had its problems over the last couple of years. Despite that, there isn’t a single other social network that has risen to compete with it in any substantial way. Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger currently occupy four spots among the top six most popular social networks. WeChat is among those six but is mostly limited to China. The only other name in there with a global audience is YouTube.
It’s evident that Facebook leads the pack in terms of worldwide reach and engagement. Digital marketers will do well to continue leveraging the social network to create communities and sell products.
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