President Obama on young people: ‘It seems like they don’t use Facebook anymore’

Barack Obama

If the president knows you’re not hip anymore, you’re probably not hip. 

Robinson Meyer, an associate editor at The Atlantic, wound up eavesdropping on a meeting between President Barack Obama and a group of young people after sitting near the conversation at a cafe in Washington, D.C. The president was there to discuss ways to get 18-34 year-olds to sign up for healthcare plans through the government website. 

Meyer didn’t overhear anything new about healthcare policy, but he did hear the president discussing various messaging apps with the group, including Snapchat and Instagram. 

And he also heard the President of the United States say this about young people and the social network originally designed exclusively for college students: “It seems like they don’t use Facebook anymore.” 

President Obama’s assertion that Facebook has fallen out of favor in younger sets isn’t just anecdotal. It seems every few months there’s a new report that teens are abandoning the social network in droves. A professor on a research team in Europe called Facebook “dead and buried” in the eyes of young people, and even Facebook has noted its waning influence on teenagers. 

Facebook is still the largest social network, but many of its gains in users has come from older people adopting it, while the younger generations are choosing to spend more time on other social platforms. This is bad news for Facebook’s future, and unless the company can find a way to be more attractive to younger users, it could lose cultural importance . 

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