An iStrategyLabs report from January 2014 caused quite a ruffle among the Facebook top brass and investors, as it indicated that teens are leaving the ubiquitous social platform.
Now, a Thursday report from Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. (via Bloomberg) shows that Facebook’s popularity among younger users is in serious decline.
According to the study, in 2014, 88% of 13- to 17-year-old social media users in the U.S. were on Facebook — a drop from 94% in 2013 and 95% in 2012.
Though this is still a vast percentage of teens, as was confirmed by this study in June 2014, the 6% drop sounds quite significant — especially when some of Facebook’s competition is experiencing the reverse.
Take Twitter, for example — Magid claims that 48% of social media users of the same age group in the U.S. were on Twitter in 2014, rising from 46% in 2013.
Some of the reasons for this decline of Facebook’s popularity among teens is their perception of the site’s safety. According to the study, only 9% of those surveyed described Facebook as “safe” or “trustworthy”. It’s also not much “fun” — only 18% of teens described it as so, in contrast with 40% saying the same for Pinterest.
There is a silver lining for Facebook, however. The company bought photo sharing service Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, and messaging app Whatsapp for $19 billion. In early December, Instagram passed the 300 million monthly active users mark — many of them teens — and Whatsapp, also immensely popular among teens, boasted 600 million monthly active users in August. And several studies have shown that these Facebook-owned properties are exactly where teens are heading.
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