Facebook is losing its appeal to the younger generation of social networking users according to a recent study that shed some interesting light on the figures behind the largest social networking empire in the world. While Facebook is number one by a significant margin in terms of raw users, the company which prides itself on connecting, is losing its connection with some really key demographics.
Specifically, a study which was conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates showed Facebook losing teenagers by a significant margin over the course of the last several years. The survey found that Facebook had its overall popularity amongst teenagers between the ages of 13-17 drop to 88% compared to the 95% and 94% popularity ratings it received in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Those within the industry cite the growth of Instagram, and the overall decline in popularity of Facebook as a whole amongst all age groups as key components in the decline of Facebook amongst teens.
This wasn’t the first suggestion made by a study regarding Facebook’s relevance amongst young people. A study published earlier in the year by the analysts at Piper Jaffray pointed out that Instagram was growing, while Facebook was declining. They even went as far as to point out that Instagram was the most important social network out there.
For some time now, Facebook has been slowly getting tagged the social network for “parents” rather than the social network for young people, and Facebook has even been embracing that to some degree. Facebook notoriously acquired Instagram in 2012, which some see as ironic now, as the popularity of Instagram actually makes the photo-sharing social network more important than Facebook. Those within the company have even been on the record pointing out that Instagram is for those who are not ready for Facebook. Meaning, younger people who don’t want to commit to the unsecure internet playground that is Facebook.
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However, security might play a larger role in this decline than one might think initially. Frank N. Magid’s survey pointed out that 18% of the individuals polled called Facebook fun, while 16% referred to it as trendy and informative. The flipside of that poll showed that just 9% of respondents believed it was safe and trustworthy.
Safety online is a major concern, especially for parents – who ultimately have the most control over whether their children are on the social network or not. While they, themselves, may be on the social network, that doesn’t mean that they would necessarily want their children to be on that same social network given the security concerns that Facebook presents.
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That doesn’t mean that there is a balance of power shift happening within the social networking world though. Instagram is owned by Facebook. Any success they have, is ultimately had at the expense of the other social networks. However, Twitter isn’t struggling by any means itself. While the numbers are not the greatest for growth on Twitter – the company is still holding its own fairly well, and really working on a completely different demographic. The real power shift happened within the mobile community as a whole. While many of these social networks have gone to a more-mobile focus, operations like Snapchat, iMessage, and WhatsApp are popular users in addition to Facebook Messenger – who leads amongst actively used messaging platforms.