Facebook is having an increasingly difficult time as governments and companies line up to have a swipe at the company and its reputation. The most recent setback sees the boss of Facebook in India, Ajit Mohan, summoned to answer questions about the company’s ability (or inability) to block hate speech.
The riots in New Delhi, in February, led to 50 people dying and depending on the outcome of the meeting could even lead to some very serious charges being filed against Facebook.
In the meantime, and in the face of the string of negative events, Facebook is constantly trying to reinvent itself, although not as a publisher, of course.
It’s latest attempt takes it back to where it began. The college campus. It is called Facebook Campus and, as it says on the tin, it is a separate profile that will allow students to keep in touch, whether they are on campus or not.
This latest attempt at reviving its reputation follows other tries, such as Messenger Kids, Facebook Dating and some video sharing functionality for Messenger.
The problem that Facebook has is that it is getting old, as are its users in its main markets. The real test will be whether college kids will use the ‘back to roots’ platform. And the answer is probably not.
The Gen Zers are not using Facebook. If they use one of the Facebook family of apps, it is Instagram but even that is probably not that cool anymore.
At the same time, there is a positive plethora of new social media apps and they, along with the increasing Government curbs and advertising boycotts, plus the over-arching issue of the tech Cold War, and you can see the social media arena is about to be shaken up.
It is sometimes difficult to see why Facebook is still around amidst the enormous pressures it is facing but it is also difficult to see how launching ‘new’ platforms and services, which offer nothing particularly new or fresh, is going to fix a leaking ship.