The blog explains some of the reasons why Facebook is losing popularity among the teen demographic.
There’s been speculation for a while that teenagers are losing interest in Facebook and Piper Jaffray’s 26th annual consumer insights study, “Taking Stalk with Teens”, supports this claim and shows us just how quickly interest is dwindling among the teen demographic: “The popularity of Facebook is waning among teens with 23% citing it as the most important, down from 33% six months ago and 42% a year ago.” That’s a very steep decline in such a short period.
Facebook has confirmed that teenagers’ daily usage of Facebook is on the decline. Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman explains that “analysis on youth engagement in the US reveals that usage of Facebook among US teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3, but we did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.” This shows that despite previous refutes, Facebook is losing ground with teens in the US.
So, why is Facebook losing popularity among teens?
I think there is a culmination of factors at play here. First, I think there is a growing interest in visual sites among the youth, such as Instagram, Vine, and YouTube. From Fall 2012 to Fall 2013, Instagram has almost doubled as teens pick for the most important social networking site; whereas Facebook has nearly decreased by half and Twitter has remained more or less constant.
Another reason I believe Facebook is losing popularity among teens is because of Facebook’s popularity with the general population. One thing teens value most about social media is the freedom it gives them. With Facebook that freedom has dissipated as their parents have joined the network. Jaelyn, a 16-year-old girl, explains how parents interfere on Facebook: “I would rather my parents not comment on my stuff, but they do. You want your friends to comment. Adults kind of kill the conversation.” Teenagers like to have their own space online, where they can interact with their peers and get away from their parents. With Facebook, that has become almost impossible.
In my next blog, I will explore what this decline means from a youth marketing stand point and weigh different social media marketing strategies for reaching teenagers.