Teens Are Ditching Facebook
April 11, 2013

Teens Ditching Facebook In Search Of ‘Their Own’ Platform

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Why would anyone use Facebook when they could use SnapChat?

The popularity of Facebook has been in decline with teens of late as more mobile friendly methods to communicate with friends emerge. Instagram and SnapChat, for example, have all been cited as snatching teens away from Facebook.

As Facebook´s earliest and most faithful followers grow older, teens are likely looking for crowds closer to their age, and even Facebook Home might not be able to bring them back to the Zuckerberg´s House.

Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray conducts a biannual study in which he talks to teens, asking them about their spending habits, how they spend their time, and if they plan to buy an iPhone in the near future.

According to his most recent survey of teens, Munster says Facebook is becoming less important with each passing year. In the last survey, 42 percent the teen participants claimed Facebook was the “Most Important Social Network.” The latest report, however, shows that a mere 33 percent of teens are sticking by their opinion from just months ago.

This survey not only offers evidence that teens may be increasingly ignoring Facebook but also that their tastes are constantly changing.

While Facebook still ranks as most important to the surveyed teens, Twitter is quickly gaining ground with a 3 percent increase over the last survey done in Fall of 2012. Instagram came in third place in importance ranking with 17 percent.

The study claims that this data suggests teens are looking for “their own” platform. It also predicts that this trend will continue, saying to prepare for “continued interest in emerging social platforms from Facebook.”

Among the Social Media giants (as opposed to only social networking), YouTube and Facebook are neck in neck, though both have seen a decrease in users since the last survey. In fact, the only social media sites to see an increase over the last survey were Pinterest, Twitter and, surprisingly, Google+ — the same network that used to be referred to as a “Ghost Town.”

Teens are often on the cusp of digital trends, and as such Munster allowed these juvenile participants to write in their own favorite social media sites even if they didn´t make the original list. The most popular among these write-ins was Wanelo, a Pinterest-esque site where users can collect items and categorize them based on “Want,” “Need,” or “Love” (hence the name). Also included among the write-ins were the new 6-second Twitter app, Vine, SnapChat, Kik and 4Chan.

It wouldn´t be a Gene Munster survey without some Apple flavor, of course, and according to this latest survey, nearly half of all teens surveyed are iPhone users. Last fall, 40 percent of teens reported owning an iPhone. This spring that number has jumped to 48 percent, a number which Munster claims is being driven by strong iPhone 5 sales.

The number of kids who say they “want” to own an iPhone has remained flat since the last survey at 62 percent.

And more teens are picking up tablets too. Of those teens surveyed, 51 percent said they own a tablet computer of some sort, while 17 percent said they planned to get one in the next six months.

Of these 17 percent, 68 percent said they wanted some version of the iPad.

Yet if the accompanying data is accurate, many of these teens won´t be using their iPads to look at Facebook — they´ll be on to something new that we probably haven't even heard of yet.