Facebook is still trying to figure out what teens are interested in
Facebook is restructuring its “youth team,” shutting down its new teen meme app LOL, and doubling down on Messenger Kids.
Facebook is still trying to figure out what kind of apps young people want to use.
Meme apps? Not so much. Messaging apps for elementary school kids? Yes, apparently so.
At least, that’s what we’ve deduced from Facebook’s decision to restructure its “youth team,”
The team was alerted late last week that multiple projects — including a meme app called LOL aimed at high school kids — will be shuttered, and many members of Facebook’s youth team will instead start working on Messenger Kids, according to two sources. Messenger Kids is
LOL never got much traction. Facebook described it a few weeks back as a “small scale test,” and
The company’s “youth team,” though, is not going away, according to a Facebook spokesperson. The plan is to cut down on a number of smaller projects that the group is testing and instead focus on stuff that Facebook believes is more successful. Messenger Kids, despite
“The youth team has restructured in order to match top business priorities, including increasing our investment in Messenger Kids,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed in a statement sent to Recode.
It’s always interesting to understand how Facebook is targeting teens — a valuable demographic with advertisers and a group generally lauded for identifying “the next big thing.” (Facebook, you’ll remember, started with college students. So did Snapchat.)
Many believe that Facebook has lost touch with teens —
Facebook even made headlines last week for
That data collection actually
A Facebook spokesperson says the youth team restructuring is “unrelated” to the company’s “market research” project. Asked if the research app was a youth team project, the same spokesperson said, “No.”
Facebook’s youth team was created back in early 2016 and has seen a number of projects come and go since then. A Snapchat-style competitor called
Facebook will continue to build other teen-focused products besides Messenger Kids, though it hasn’t yet shared those plans publicly. Other than Instagram, which it acquired, and Stories, which it copied from Snapchat, Facebook hasn’t had a breakout hit with teens since, well, Facebook.