Editor's Cut: How does a 10-year-old behave?
According to a former editor at Parenting magazine, age 10 is one of contradictions. Ten-year-olds “are standing on the cusp of adolescence, and are in many ways looking and behaving like the tweens they are becoming.” Typically, a 10-year-old is taking on more, from regular routines to chores that can now be done with little supervision.
“While they may look and act more grown-up, 10-year-olds can sometimes exhibit younger, even immature behavior. And while more independent than ever before, 10-year-olds may occasionally need some assistance and guidance with organizing and sticking to a schedule.”
Happy 10th birthday, Facebook!!!
Facebook really is a typical 10-year-old. It wants to run with the big kids, and the company has proven that it’s perfectly willing and capable of buying the young upstarts to keep its cool/innovative factor nice and high. It is now in the business of being a business instead of being the rogue Internet oddity that seemed so new and fresh 10 years ago.
Just how has Facebook grown? Today, there are more than 1.23 billion members worldwide. Facebook greets 757 million average daily users, of which 81 percent reside outside of the U.S. or Canada. There are now more than 25 million small business pages and more than 1 million active marketers engaging via Facebook. Once thought to be a stock flop, Facebook now reports 2013 revenue at $7.9 billion and saw all-time-high stock prices of $62/share by the end of January 2014.
Facebook is growing up pretty fast. But just like with children, Facebook at 10 needs some adult supervision, regardless of how mature it thinks it is. That’s where we marketers come in. We are the adults who have to help Facebook avoid that “awkward phase” and grow into the responsible teen we can rely on.
So what can we expect from our 10-year-old? Here are some clues from the childhood development experts (or at least the ones on Ask.com):
• At 10 years of age, children are developing an increasing sense of who they are in the world. With rising stock prices and a growing global footprint, I think we have this part covered.
• Ten-year-olds may want to fit in and conform with peers more than they used to. As Facebook looks out into its adult life, the social community will continue to transition into a more sophisticated media channel that reaches billions of eyeballs. The challenge will be to balance conforming to some needs of advertisers and marketers and maintaining the open community to which users have flocked in the past decade.
• You can expect to see an increased desire for privacy in children this age. Yes, Facebook may very well want some more privacy, away from the prying eyes of Wall Street, to continue its development. However, its ongoing battle with users who are also making decisions based on the reported lack of privacy that the network provides will continue to force Facebook into the spotlight to answer some big questions around what is and is not theirs to sell and provide to partners.
• Logical thinking and reasoning will also be a hallmark of 10-year-old child development.Facebook will continue to get smarter in how it targets and helps brands more directly engage, thanks to the social network. It is already forming its own capabilities, but as Facebook advances, so will its ability to engage in a more targeted, measurable and controlled manner.
Sure, 10 can be a trying year. But if we have learned anything from the first 10 years of the little dorm room experiment that could, there is a solid foundation there. As marketers, our brands have become Facebook’s customers, pouring millions into the platform year over year. And it is unlikely that this spend trend is going to suddenly disappear any time soon.
Just like the parents of the confused and frustrated 10-year-old, it is our responsibility to provide some ground rules, clearly lay out our expectations, and support our “child” with affirmations, great examples and plenty of attention. So happy birthday, Facebook—you don’t look a day over 9!
Until next month,