Should Investors Continue to Buy Social Media Stocks?

With the current market downturn and abysmal outlooks from several companies, it’s time to examine the state of social media stocks.

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Gloating is unbecoming. But to quote John Steinbeck: 

“You can boast about anything if it’s all you have. Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast.” 

With the current market downturn and abysmal final season of ‘Killing Eve’, I have little and even less about which to brag.

So today, in a move that is entirely self-serving, we will revisit my piece from New Year’s that outlined what I believe to be the most important, up-and-coming trends in social media. As a reminder, they were:

  1. Social media is gravitating towards private spaces. Group chats are on the rise and members often know one another outside of the internet. This space is really difficult to monetize.
  2. The public realm of social media is moving towards entertainment, discussion groups, and participation in shared experiences. Hence, the rise of TikTok (entertainment), Reddit and Discord (discussion groups), & Roblox and Fortnite (shared fun). It isn’t enough to merely connect with people online — users want something to do.
  3. Young people have completely abandoned Facebook and their interest in Instagram is waning. When they do use Instagram, it’s not rehearsed or edited. They create “photo dumps”, a random assortment of recent snaps. This style isn’t super compatible with Instagram’s changing algorithm and monetization strategy which now prioritizes videos and shopping content over pictures.

I am happy to report that when it comes to points one and three, I am vindicated.

Not only did Facebook report its first quarter of negative user growth, but I have spotted a legitimate challenger to Instagram that has harnessed the small group aesthetic.

Over the last month, I have seen teens acting rather oddly on TikTok. They’re loitering around scenic viewpoints, sitting in coffee shops with untouched cappuccinos, or going for “hot girl walks”. The Eiffel Tower has never seemed more popular.

Why are they spending their days in such a way? One reason: BeReal.