teens on facebook
June 25, 2014

Are Teens Still Using Facebook? Forrester Survey Says ‘Yes’

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

You know how you feel about your cable and Internet company. Most of us find their service model, customer service and exorbitant billing as huge 'x's in the 'con' column. And yet we continue to shell out money to companies that make us take approximately 150 more channels than we actually want or need so we can watch the handful of channels that offer programming we prefer. We don't like our cable and Internet companies. But we just can't quit them.

The above scenario pretty much spells out a similar quandary America's teens find themselves in. We all saw the reports over the last year that stated Facebook was losing the coveted 12-17 demographic. Pundits and analysts took to the airwaves, blogs and magazines to spell out the final days of Zuckerberg's faltering empire. Without the teens, there could be no more Facebook. Even the president got in on the action declaring young people, “don't use Facebook anymore.” The problem is that this just isn't true.

The social network began to lose its cool with the younger set as, more and more, gossip and drama became the primary communications kids were faced with. Also, at that age, who wants to know that mom can cyber stalk your wall to keep tabs on what you and your friends are saying and doing. Worse yet, how mortified would we have been if our moms had a broadcast platform to post embarrassing photos and posts about us that extended beyond our closest friends to even those ancillary friends and acquaintances at school and work? It's no wonder teens have expressed interest in leaving Facebook. The kids face the same problem with Facebook that their parents face with their cable provider: Where else can you go?

A new Forrester survey answers that question definitively. There really is nowhere else for them to go. While many thought teens were abandoning Facebook, the data tells a different story. As Nate Elliot's blog post on Forrester.com detailing their survey notes, many data sources have shown that usage has dipped slightly with this target demographic. However, those dips account statistically for very few teenagers and actually show that a huge majority of 12-17 year olds still use the site.

“To investigate teens’ social behaviors further, we recently asked 4,517 US online youth (aged 12 to 17) not just whether they use social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr — but if they use those sites “about once a day,” “at least a few times each day,” or even if they were on any of the sites “all the time,” stated Elliot.

“The results were clear: Facebook remains young users’ favorite social network. More than three-quarters of online youth use Facebook — twice as many as use Pinterest or Tumblr or Snapchat, and more than use Instagram and WhatApp combined.” He continued, “And 28% of young users who are on Facebook say they use it “all the time,” a higher percentage than said this about any other social network.”

While pundits and prognosticators pushed each other out of the way in the desire to be the first to herald the impending death of Facebook, perhaps they would have been wise to heed the words of a writer far better than themselves and than me. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg could paraphrase the late, great Samuel Clemens and say, “The rumors of my company's future demise have been greatly exaggerated.” But something tells me he is too busy coming up with the next big thing to pay too much attention to any of the nay-sayers.

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