Facebook’s latest moves appeal to teens, professionals and hungry users. It has recently integrated with food ordering and delivery platforms, taken on LinkedIn with a new resume feature and snapped up the viral, anonymous complimenting app tbh to appeal to teenagers (tbh, that one probably won’t work). Can any social networking platform be all things to all people? If anything can, it’s Facebook, and the social media giant sure is trying.
Hungry for more than content? Facebook users can now order food with the click of a button, after rolling out the option to a limited number of customers over the summer. The “Order Food” option can be found under the Explore menu in the Facebook app. Users can browse nearby restaurants or start an order immediately if they already know what they want to eat.
Instead of competing with online food ordering and delivery services, the social media giant has decided to join forces with them, kicking off partnerships with industry players EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Olo, Zuppler and Slice. It also has direct partnerships with some restaurant chains, including Five Guys, Papa John’s, TGI Fridays, Denny’s, Chipotle and Panera.
InvestorPlace says that the addition of food ordering capabilities makes Facebook stock a must-buy. Even if the social network’s food ordering capability never grows beyond its current, fairly simplistic, iteration, and even if it never becomes a cash cow for the platform, complexity and mass adoption are not the keys to generating revenue through this offering, says the site. Two billion monthly users are more than enough to make the retail experiment profitable, even if only a “few” of them embrace it.
Teenagers don’t like Facebook. This is hardly news.
According to research by Piper Jaffray, Facebook spent years as the least popular social media platform among teens before finally gaining a slight lead over Twitter. The most recent Piper Jaffray teen survey showed that only 9 percent preferred Facebook as their social network of choice — marginally better than Twitter’s 7 percent.
Nearly a quarter of teens chose Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, but Snapchat was the winner far and away, with 47 percent of teens saying it was their favorite social media platform. Facebook and Instagram tried to be more like Snapchat by adding a “Stories” feature to attract teens, but the younger demographic has not been swayed.
Axios notes that the underlying philosophies of the platforms are simply too different to generate the demographic overlap for which Facebook has been gunning. Snapchat is all about engagement over scale, connecting users with their closest friends and family. Facebook is all about the opposite, maintaining relationships between contacts who share only the loosest of ties.
Teens have made it pretty clear which one holds more value for them.
If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s been Facebook’s strategy so far, showing just how threatened the social media Goliath feels whenever some little David starts gaining traction in the App Store.
First, it swallowed up Instagram, and now the anonymous compliment app tbh, which quickly became the App Store’s sixth most-downloaded app, after 5 million users (primarily teens) downloaded it over the summer. Facebook paid less than $100 million for the acquisition, The Guardian reports.
Like competitors Secret, Yik Yak and Sarahah, tbh allows users “to be honest” with each other (behind the veil of anonymity, of course). Unlike those competitors, however, tbh eliminates the potential for unkind sentiments and cyberbullying by limiting responses to compliments.
Users are shown a positive question such as, “Who makes you laugh the hardest?” or, “Who has the most integrity?” Then they are given four Facebook friends from which to choose. Whomever they select is notified of the compliment, but not who sent it. More than 1 billion messages have been sent.
It seems unlikely that Facebook’s latest acquisition will improve its popularity among teens. The primary benefit will be to tbh, which gains access to Facebook’s 2 billion-member user base as it endeavors to spread its good vibes to more demographics.
For now, tbh will retain its own employees and functionality.
Facebook users can now list their professional experience and education in a nice, neat, professional-looking package that is kept separate from personal photos, status updates and posts, reports Business Insider. The idea is to create a convenient, integrated way for users to share their professional selves with the world — and with job recruiters in particular.
The move takes very clear aim at Microsoft-owned competitor LinkedIn, the social network for professionals. Will Facebook oust LinkedIn? Or perhaps acquire it one day as it did Instagram and tbh? Or will it decide that the professional sphere just isn’t what it was made for? Only time will tell.