It’s official. Teens are fleeing Facebook. Why? Most teens don’t want to hang out with their parents (and their grandparents)!
While Facebook remains the leader in overall usage, it is losing ground to other forms of up-and-coming apps and social networking sites. A recent study by GlobalWebIndex found Facebook usage among teens had dropped a staggering 56 percent in the third quarter of 2013. So where are these young people hanging out instead?
According to the study, mobile chat service WeChat has seen the most rapid growth in active users aged between 16 and 19 by an astounding 1,021 percent. And not surprisingly, Twitter’s video-sharing app, Vine, which some considered “dead” not so long ago, has climbed to a 639 percent increase among active teen users in the previous year. Even the photo-sharing appFlickr has more active usage (a 254 percent increase) among teens, just like the mobile instant-messaging app WhatsApp (an 81 percent increase) is experiencing. It’s also interesting to note that even though Facebook is losing the popularity contest with teens, it can take solace in the growing adoption of its recently acquired photo-sharing app, Instagram, which has seen a hefty 85 percent increase in teen usage in 2013.
There is also the discernable Snapchat, which, despite its latest security breach, is sparking gains among this fickle population. The photo-sharing app is growing strong, with 10 percent of teens globally using the service, making it bigger thanPinterest, Vine, WeChat and LinkedIn among that demographic. And since sent photos and videos have only a 1- to 10-second viewing life, it keeps teens’ parents out of their business and gives them complete privacy to do whatever they want (a good app gone bad?).
KiK is another app that is hugely popular with teens. With 100 million users, this instant-messaging app is similar to texting but offers some of the same features that social networking sites do such as photo and file sharing and group chat. The app has no parental controls and prides itself on being an app that allows users to stay constantly connected with their friends anytime, anywhere.
As the social media landscape is becoming increasingly saturated with the “next big thing,” young people are likely to continue to flit from one social media app to another. While teens leave Facebook and Twitter in favor of cool new apps and sites that offer a safe haven from watchful parents, the next great thing is probably going to be invented tomorrow.
Alyse Lorber is the global marketing assistant at gyro.
Follow Alyse @alyse_michelle