March 5, 2013
Teenagers Leaving Facebook For Other More Mobile-Friendly Services
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Who can really understand teenagers, their whims, trends and choice of clothing? Certainly not Facebook, the place that was once a popular hangout for teens and college students.According to a recent article in Business Insider, Zuckerberg´s social network is losing some ground to other more mobile-friendly services like SnapChat and even their own Instagram.The trend is being acknowledged by Facebook, who have reported it in their annual 10-K report.
Even app developers are realizing the trend.
Adam Ludwin, co-founder of social photo app Albumatic, said teens have become “bored with Facebook.”
Ludwin put his app in front of 20 or so kids under 25-years old as a focus group. One of the more common complaints he heard about his app was its reliance on Facebook to find friends and share photos. This, according to the young adults, is clearly not something people do anymore.
Business Insider also mentions a December article on the blogging site Medium written by Josh Miller, creator of conversation-curating service Branch. Miller writes that his 15-year old sister had told him many months ago that all the cool kids are on Instagram and SnapChat.
Though an increasing number of teens have reportedly found the social giant "boring," Miller´s sister called Facebook “addicting,” a feature which was once responsible for bringing people to the site and keeping them for hours.
Miller´s kid sister said this aspect keeps her away from the social network. When she does visit the site, specifically Facebook Chat, she claimed there´s never anyone she wants to talk to.
“When you go on Facebook Chat the people you don´t want to talk to are always the ones who immediately chat with you,” according to Miller's sister.
Of SnapChat, Miller´s kid sister said: “It´s a way to connect with friends when you don´t really have anything to say.”
Ever hip to the trends, Facebook has already noticed this decreased involvement from the younger set and said there could be trouble ahead for their brand.
“Some of our current and potential competitors may have significantly greater resources or better competitive positions in certain product segments, geographic regions or user demographics than we do,” claims Facebook in their 10-K report. “These factors may allow our competitors to respond more effectively than us to new or emerging technologies and changes in market conditions.
“For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram. In the event that our users increasingly engage with other products and services, we may experience a decline in user engagement and our business could be harmed.”
It certainly doesn´t hurt Facebook that so many teens are using their newly acquired Instagram, yet many are asking the same question: What does Facebook have to do to get their groove back?
We´ve yet to see any social networks fully come back from the dead – like LiveJournal, MySpace, Xanga and others – once the hip teen scene moves away. We´ve also yet to see the vintage movement hit social sites with hipsters ironically choosing to use outdated networks as a way to express their identity.
SnapChat may be the choice of the kids today, but it´s terribly unlikely the service will catch on with parents, grandparents and businesses, three demographics which helped Facebook become a household name.