In early 2022, Facebook announced that it had lost daily users for the first time in its 18-year history. With about half a million fewer users logging onto the app every day between Q3 and Q4 20211, it was a telling moment for the social media juggernaut that had long dominated the social media space.
While this surprised the hundreds of millions of people who still use Facebook regularly to stay connected with their friends and family, there’s one particular group of people who weren’t surprised: young people. For years, young people have been leaving (or simply never joining!) Facebook. In the US alone, historically Facebook’s biggest market, teenage users have declined by 13% since 2019 and are projected to further drop 45% by 2024.2
There were two features that would begrudgingly bring young people to join or re-join the platform, however: communities and events. There are few quality alternatives for communities to engage and communicate with their members outside of Facebook. Young people have been turning to platforms like Snapchat to fill the gaps, but it fulfils few of their requirements.
With Facebook’s growth flywheel starting to turn in the opposite direction as their network effects degrade among young people, there’s a new opportunity to give young people the features they need to manage their communities and host events, eventually becoming a home for engagement with their friends more generally.
The Solution: Enter Lounge
Lounge is a new type of community platform that allows users to create structured communities, organise events, discover other groups, and more.
Users can immediately start creating groups and events with others in seconds, whether they have Lounge downloaded or not. Users can then manage all aspects of their groups and events, from managing RSVPs, splitting expenses, to creating shared albums. By giving young people a space to organise groups and events without the noise and bloated features of traditional social media, they can focus on real people and communities instead of endless ‘doom scrolling.’
The path to global scale in the world of social media is not an easy one. The outcomes can be more binary than those in spaces like enterprise SaaS. This difficulty means there’s arguably an even higher bar for the founders.
Jack and Wulfie, and their extended team, greatly impressed us with their thoughtfulness around growth, building a high-quality team and strategically making the most of the gaps left by the large social players.
Prior to founding Lounge, both Jack and Wulfie spent a number of years at BCG, where they were top performers within their cohorts. After leaving BCG, Wulfie became fascinated with graph neural networks and decided to do a Computer Science Masters at Oxford in AL and ML.
Jack and Wulfie found that they were both searching for a more meaningful challenge and came together to build Lounge.
The path to global scale in the world of social media is not an easy one, but we’re incredibly excited to back Lounge on their journey. Building any successful social media app is hard, so Jack, Wulfie and the team will be extremely busy building Lounge’s suite of product features to take it to the next level of its maturity while juggling their continued success in the UK, Ireland, South Africa and Australia with their ambitious plans to expand across the rest of the globe. Of course, they are also growing their team and are hiring, so if you’re interested in joining this rockstar crew check out their open roles.
Welcome to the Square Peg family Team Lounge!
1 Washington Post (2022) Facebook loses users for the first time in its history
2 TechCrunch (2022) US teens have abandoned Facebook, Pew study says