Are Teens not as Keen on Social Media as Their Parents?
Social media is billed as a hip thing that youngsters get but the older generation pass up on. The last week however has not been a good week for the social media cool factor.
Firstly we've seen the Facebook IPO flop, with around $30bn wiped from their value as the stock has fallen after flotation. Now the LA Times is suggesting that for teenagers social media is just not cool any more.
They suggest that teenagers are logging off of Facebook in favour of mobile applications and services such as Tumblr and Twitter. The motivation behind this switch is apparently to network with a smaller group of close friends rather than 'mass network' via Facebook, all of course out of the prying eyes of their parents.
It was revealed recently that Americans are spending more time on Facebook via their mobile phones than via their computers, with the issue of how to monetize this mobile traffic key to Facebook's future.
The social networking landscape is littered with sites that were once cool before users fled to a cooler alternative once it had outgrown its usefulness. Facebook will be loathe to join the likes of MySpace and Friendster on the social media scrapheap.
Facebook will be pleased by evidence suggesting the trickle has not become a flood however.
"Just because teens are using other services like Twitter and Tumblr more — and they are using these services in huge amounts — doesn't mean they're using Facebook less," said Alice Marwick, a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, where she studies how teens interact with technology.
Despite this, older users continue to provide the bulk of user growth. Users aged 50 to 64 made up nearly a quarter of Facebook's audience in March, according to research firm Nielsen. The only social network with a higher percentage of older users was professional networking service LinkedIn.
With the rising usage by older people it can quickly descend into something your mom does, and few youngsters want to do things their parents find cool.
Turns out the kids are right. A recent study from Nielsen found that nearly 3 of 4 U.S. mothers who went online from a home computer visited Facebook in March. Only 8.3% visited Tumblr, and 14% visited Twitter.
Do you think Facebook is falling out of fashion?