Facebook isn't cool, says teen William Davenport, but he and his friends still use it anyway. So don't worry about the cool factor!
About a year ago I wrote an article on CNBC, " I'm 16 and I think all teens NEED Facebook ." In the article I described how Facebook is not a fad social network anymore, and why that doesn't matter. Teenagers still use and need Facebook.
Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used the same reasoning in a Q&A. When asked, "Is Facebook becoming boring or losing its charm?," Zuckerberg responded by saying, "My goal was never to make Facebook cool. I'm not a cool person, and I've never really tried to be cool." He said that Facebook should be a tool for communication, not something you should celebrate about. He compared Facebook to utilities such as electricity and water, something that you come to expect and rely on.
That was the main idea of the article I wrote a year ago, and I still firmly believe this. Facebook doesn't have to be exciting or cool if it's very useful. Since I wrote that article, Facebook has not become obsolete, contrary to many people's fears. In fact, the amount of users has increased immensely.
Also, teens I know use Facebook just as much or more than they did one year ago. No one is going to say it's cool. Teens aren't going to talk about their Facebook profile or how many likes they got on a Facebook post. That's not Facebook. That's reserved for fad networks like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter , Vine (barely), and the list goes on. But social networks can't be exciting forever, and if a network is only used because it's cool, once it's not exciting, people will stop using it. If you use Facebook, be glad that it's not cool, and that it still manages to be such a huge social network. Be glad that Facebook is used to communicate and organize groups in a way that other social networks can't.
Maybe a year ago there was a semi-valid worry that Facebook not being cool could cause it to lose its prominence. But Facebook hasn't been cool for a long time now, and it has only gotten bigger, and the bigger it gets, the more people are left out if they neglect connecting with Facebook, and being left out is not cool.
Commentary by William Davenport, a 17-year-old senior in high-school from Newport Beach, Calif. He has been watching CNBC since he was 11. In his spare time, he enjoys rowing with his crew team and hanging out with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @WillBDavenport.
Disclosure: William has about 500 shares of Facebook in his college-savings account, though he doesn't control it - his father does.