US Teens Have Abandoned Facebook, Says a New Study
- The social media landscape is ever-changing, especially among teenagers, who mostly use these platforms.
- According to the new Pew Research, TikTok is the top social media platform among American teens aged 13 to 17.
- Facebook — the most dominant social media platform among teens back in 2014 – 2015, has dropped in popularity from 71% to 32%.
- Many teens perceive Facebook as old technology and associate it with their parents and older generations.
- YouTube has maintained its position as the top online landscape for teens, with 95% of teens using it from 2014-15.
Teens’ internet use is rising, but the rate at which users aged 13 to 17 use Facebook is rapidly declining. According to Pew research, only 32% of US teens use Facebook. In the 2014-2015 survey, Facebook usage among teens was 71%, beating out other platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
In 2022, as the new generation of younger users joins social media, they’ve almost abandoned Facebook altogether. Instead, they are switching to TikTok, which has established itself as one of the top social platforms for US teens.
The Possible Reason Why Facebook has Lost Its Teen Demographic
Facebook has lost its demographic of 13-17 years old, leaving the platform with older people who find it more conducive to their natural habits. Young kids are flocking to TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, abandoning what has been around for a while.
The younger generation perceives Facebook as old technology with little to offer. There are other strongly positioned social media platforms to scroll through endlessly, and it isn’t sustainable to have all of them. For the sake of sanity and time, teens seem to eliminate platforms that begin to lack value.
More importantly, the culture that the average Facebook user encourages disconnects from what is attractive to teens. Younger users show more enthusiasm for other platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat.
The Change in Other Social Platforms
The shift in social media since 2014-15 goes beyond Facebook’s fall and the glory of TikTok. Many teens use Instagram and Snapchat, which have increased user numbers.
Twitter and Tumblr have a declining share of teens using their platforms, while two other social platforms — Google+ and Vine — no longer exist.
The preference for TikTok and Instagram appears to be influenced by short visual content. Snapchat, on the other hand, seems to appeal to users because of disappearing content after the conversation.
Demographic Differences in Teens’ Social Media Preferences
From the Pew study, you can note the demographic difference in teens’ social media preferences. For instance, teen boys are more likely than teen girls to use social platforms such as:
On the other hand, teen girls are more likely than teen boys to use:
The Loyalty To YouTube
YouTube remains the top online landscape from 2014-15, with about 95% of American teens active on the platform.
While teens are leaving Facebook in droves, YouTube has remained the unrivaled dominant social media site for teens for the past seven years. The next in popularity is TikTok at 67%, followed by Instagram and Snapchat at 60%.
After the top four, Facebook follows at 32%, then even smaller shares for Twitter, WhatsApp, Twitch, Reddit, and Tumblr.
Young people consider YouTube a social media platform, but most older people don’t see it that way. Many consider YouTube as a platform where they can get information. However, it turns out that there’s a huge social media components to YouTube that people are latching on to.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the Shift in Social Media Preference
The significant shift to TikTok might explain ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) among teens today. After all, 35% of kids admit to spending almost all their time on social media. The proposition is scary because social media isn’t a platform designed to be educational.
Most social media is designed to capture your attention for a second and give you unverified information that nobody else seems to dispute. You only ingest — no filters.
If you see teens using their TikTok, they’re usually surgically attached to their phones. According to a recent study, frequent use of social media has recently been linked with symptoms of ADD. During adolescence, kids develop their social identities and look for social connections. Social media gives them a platform for social connection. However, digital media has a faster pace and is more stimulating. This consumption of endless short videos has made teens have a much harder time controlling their focus.
Facebook Trying To Be TikTok-Like to Appeal to Teen
TikTok is super popular, so tech giants in the USA are racing to compete. In 2021, Facebook announced it would try to make its platform more appealing to younger users by adding some TikTok-like features. The social network is overhauling itself to chase the faster-growing competitor.
For instance, Facebook is breaking its feed into two sections to suggest content from users’ friends and family. The company is copying the famous TikTok algorithm to share content from people who users don’t follow.
The company has also introduced a feature where videos appear endlessly in the user’s feed, like on TikTok. The videos expose users to new things that might lead to more eyeballs on their platform.
While the new features irritate some of the older users, Facebook is determined to make the platform appeal to young people. To some point, it’s hard to change people’s behavior who have a specific perception about something. Facebook will have to put in a lot of work because it’s challenging to change the teen perception that Facebook is for “oldies.”
However, the smartest thing that Mark Zuckerberg did was to buy Instagram. The social platform is what’s carrying Meta’s brand right now. As Facebook loses its popularity, Instagram continues to be very popular.
Alvarez Technology Group Shares Tech Insights To Help Your Business Make More Informed Decisions
The reach and use of social media grow almost parallel with the world’s digital population growth. However, social networks vary in popularity in different demographics and are still evolving.
Businesses can draw insights from the most recent statistics to better understand their customers and prospects. Contact us today for more insights on how technology is redefining business operations.