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Facebook began the LOL project late last year in an attempt to entice younger users. The project aimed to appeal to teenagers, who’ve been abandoning the social media giant in favor of platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. LOL’s funny videos and short, GIF-like clips were abandoned before the project even launched, according to Recode.
The team that was set to develop LOL is shifting to Facebook‘s youth messaging app aimed at kids under 13, Mashable reports. “The Youth team has restructured in order to match top business priorities,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email statement to Mashable. “Including increasing our investment in Messenger Kids.”
Facebook’s attempts to connect with a younger demographic have mostly come off as “cringey” so far, as TechCrunch notes. The social media giant has struggled to find relevance as waves of controversy paired with heightened competition has driven young users away. It went so far as to offer teenagers $20 a month to use an app that collected their data, calling it “market research.” The move was heavily criticized.
Facebook plans to develop more teen-oriented products, according to Recode. Despite its consistent failure to engage youths, Facebook is determined to reclaim its former glory. It is still the most popular social media platform worldwide, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp, according to data gathered by Statistica. Those rankings are likely to shift as more young people move toward alternate options.
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Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.