Teens Don't Think Facebook Is Cool Anymore

Business Insider
Analyzing the top news stories across the web
Oct. 24 2013 4:30 PM

Facebook Is No Longer the Most Popular Social Network for Teens

131024_bi_facebookchart
Click to enlarge.

Piper Jaffray / Huffington Post

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

By Jim Edwards

Advertisement

Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the social media network that is most important to teens, according to Piper Jaffray's semi-annual teen market research report. Twitter is the new king of teens, with 26 percent naming it as their "most important" social site. Only 23 percent said Facebook was most important, down from a high of 42 percent.

But Twitter should not become complacent, the report suggests. That's because Instagram has rocketed in popularity with teens. 23 percent said Facebook-owned Instagram was their No.1 choice, up from 12 percent a year ago. The stats dovetail with a Pew report. Here's Pew's money quote from a 14-year-old girl:

“I got mine [Facebook account] around sixth grade. And I was really obsessed with it for a while. Then towards eighth grade, I kind of just -- once you get into Twitter, if you make a Twitter and an Instagram, then you'll just kind of forget about Facebook, is what I did.”

The maneuvering suggests Facebook was right to acquire Instagram as a backstop against losing younger users to competing, simpler networks. The reports are a contrast, but not a contradiction to, Facebook's own statements on teen users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has twice spoken publicly recently about whether teens are abandoning Facebook. In September, Zuckerberg said "coolness is done for us." Previously, on his Q2 earnings call, Zuckerberg said that Facebook's own research shows that teens are not abandoning the site.

Facebook has, frustratingly, declined to share that research—even though investors would salivate over it. Two different sources inside Facebook tell Business Insider that there is a difference between what teens say about Facebook and how they actually use it. Sure, Facebook might be uncool—your mom is on it, after all—but it's such a ubiquitous tool, and teens have huge social networks on it. "The typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers," Pew says.

Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 22 2014 2:27 PM Facebook Made $595 Million in the U.K. Last Year. It Paid $0 in Taxes
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 22 2014 1:01 PM The Surprisingly Xenophobic Origins of Wonder Bread
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 10:39 PM Avengers: Age of Ultron Looks Like a Fun, Sprawling, and Extremely Satisfying Sequel
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 2:59 PM Netizen Report: Twitter Users Under Fire in Mexico, Venezuela, Turkey
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.