Report: Facebook Developing ‘LOL’ Meme Hub in Effort to Retain Fleeing Youth

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a US House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP

Facebook is reportedly developing a hub of memes and funny videos for young users, titled “LOL,” in an effort to engage the youth who have fled the social network for rival platforms.

According to TechCrunch, “Multiple sources” confirmed “Facebook has spent months building LOL, a special feed of funny videos and GIF-like clips,” which is “divided into categories like ‘For You’, ‘Animals’, ‘Fails’, ‘Pranks’ and more with content pulled from News Feed posts by top meme Pages on Facebook.”

TechCrunch reported that Facebook is currently unsure as to whether LOL will be a part of Facebook’s main app, or a standalone app, and the hub is reportedly “in private beta with around 100 high school students who signed non-disclosure agreements with parental consent to do focus groups and one-on-one testing with Facebook staff.”

Sources close to the hub told TechCrunch that it feels “cringey,” and TechCrunch, which mocked the move on Twitter, claimed the “content found in LOL is sometimes weeks old, so meme-obsessed teens may have seen it before.”

“Facebook has repeatedly failed to capture the hearts of teens with Snapchat clones like Poke and Slingshot, standalone apps like Lifestage, and acquisitions like TBH. Fears that it’s losing the demographic or that the shift driven by the youth from feeds to Stories that Facebook has less experience monetizing have caused massive drops in the company’s share price over the years,” TechCrunch declared. “If Facebook can’t fill in this age gap, the next generation of younger users might sidestep the social network too, which could lead to huge downstream problems for growth and revenue.”

In 2017, a Facebook patent for a meme analysis engine was discovered, and this week, Wired reported that Facebook could potentially be data mining the popular “10 year challenge” meme on the platform, where users post a picture of themselves from 10 years ago next to one from today.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.

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