Humor phrases, images and videos reflect everyday situations and are especially popular with young people who use platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat to share them.
Now Facebook wants to use them to win back the teenagers, who are abandoning the social network at a dramatic pace.
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Mark Zuckerberg and his team are developing a new platform, called Facebook LOL, which would be basically a source of memes, videos and GIFs, according to TechCruch, a technology website. The information was later confirmed by Facebook.
LOL is an acronym in English of “Laughing out loud”, something like “dying of laugh”, in Portuguese. And that’s what it’s all about: an entertainment platform for young people to have fun with.
The idea is that it be organized into categories such as “animals,” “pranks,” “celebrities,” and “games,” and that users can rate content by saying how fun it is. They will also be able to share memes and create their own, and receive recommendations through the algorithm.
The new platform is not yet available. It would be being tested with a group of one hundred US high school students who signed confidentiality agreements with parental consent to participate in discussion groups and individual tests under the supervision of the social network team.
At present, it is not possible to know if the platform would be launched as a new social networking function or as a separate application.
“We’re doing a little experiment, and the concept is still in its early stages of development,” a company spokesman told TechCrunch.
The problem with Facebook with teenagers
Although Facebook continues to grow, in recent years (since 2014, according to the company), more and more young people are migrating to alternative services, which creates obstacles for the social network in the long run.
Although one of the most popular options they resort to is Instagram, which is also from Facebook, the social network does not want to lose that audience.
“Facebook has a problem with teenagers,” said Bill Fisher of eMarketer, a US market research firm.
The reason may be the fact that people like their parents and grandparents are also using the social network.
“With the presence of adults, who send requests for friendships, the younger ones decided to do what they always do: turn away from the adult world,” wrote media expert Gabriela Warkentin in the text entitled “Mother, quit my Facebook ! “.
With LOL, Facebook would be trying to speak the language of the young people and try to attract them back, as it already does with the Instagram Stories and with animated emojis.
The company has already attempted to do the same by creating copies of Snapchat as the Poke and Slingshot applications and by purchasing TBH (“To be honest” or “to be honest”) in 2017, an anonymous messaging application for teens – and had to close nine weeks after the acquisition in the face of bad results.
Are memes a more effective strategy?