Teens Are Leaving Facebook And This is Where They Are Going



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Like many
parents, Facebook is learning that raising teenagers is hard. On Wednesday
evening during its 2013 fourth quarter earnings call Facebook’s Chief Financial
Officer David Ebersman said teen
usage of the social network decreased in the last quarter. 


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“We
did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens,”
Ebersman said, sending down the stock from the rise it saw after earnings were
announced. “We wanted to share this with you now because we get a lot of
questions about teens.” 
Of
course, those precious teens haven’t decided to spend less time on their
phones, tablets or computers interacting with friends. They have just decided to
spend the time using different social networks. So where are the teens going?
Here are some ideas. 
Instagram

Look at the phone of any high school kid and you’ll likely find Instagram
easily accessible. Instagram doesn’t outrightly share how many younger users it
has, but according to Pew, 18 percent of cell owners use Instagram and
Instagram states that it has 150 million active users. 
Teens
don’t just post food photos or selfies though. They comment on photos of their
friends and share images of things they are interested in — sports, bands,
celebrities, you name it.
This
isn’t bad news for Facebook. The company owns Instagram and shelled out $1
billion for it in April 2012. Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter
Group, says be believes Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s lead executives knew
they would need help with the younger market at the time and that was the
impetus behind the purchase. 
“Facebook
realized it needed not just a mobile future, but also a future for this younger
or teen audience,” Solis told ABC News. 

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Snapchat

Teens are also spending a lot of time looking at photos that disappear within
10 seconds. Snapchat
is another teen mobile staple now. Again Snapchat doesn’t share stats on the
age of its users but says 350 million photos or “Snaps” are sent
every day across the network.
Also,
the service became so popular with kids that the company released Snapkidz
in June, an app that doesn’t actually let kids share photos but just doodle
on them. Yeah, that’s certainly not what the teens are after. 
Messaging
Apps – Kik, WhatsApp

Teens are also creating their own social networks, much in the same way many
did with AOL or AIM before there was Facebook. Using chat apps like Kik and
WhatsApp many use the group messaging and other messaging features in this app
to keep up with friends. According to WhatsApp, the service has over 300
million users. 

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Solis
points out that teens lead different social lives than adults and that’s why
some of these more instant or real-time messaging apps appeal to them.
“The reality is that teens have every day social situations that adults
don’t have. They have a real life social network every single day and for that
they are using a lot of real time text related communication,” he said. 
Others:
Pheed, AskFm, Twitter

Other networks have also gained some steam with younger users. For instance, Pheed
surged in popularity a few months ago because of the multimedia tools the
service offered in comparison to Facebook and Twitter. It allows for status
updates, but also quick video clips and photo filters similar to Instagram.
Pheed’s CEO told ABC News in March it was seeing huge growth with the younger
market. 
Solis also
mentioned AskFM as a popular teen hangout. This social network allows users to
pose questions to one another and is similar in design to Reddit threads. According
to Business Insider, half of the network’s 65 million users are under 18.
But because of the anonymity of users, teens are said to be particularly harsh
and mean. 
And
then, of course, there is Twitter. According to Piper
Jaffray’s semi-annual teen market research report, Twitter overtook
Facebook in terms of popularity with teens. Twenty six percent named Twitter as
their “most important” social site, while only 23 percent said
Facebook was most important, down from 42 percent the year before. 

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As
Facebook is learning, with teens what’s in one day is out the next.
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