Teens Continue to Abandon Facebook

Teens Continue to Abandon Facebook
  • Opening Intro -

    Teenagers are the world's future and that is why Facebook with more than 1 billion global users is very concerned. While much of the rest of the world is liking and sharing Facebook posts and pages, teen usage has been falling.


That’s a trend confirmed by GlobalWebIndex, the world’s largest market research study on the digital consumer and also recently confirmed by Facebook’s CFO, David Ebersam.

Facebook Teen Usage

GlobalWebIndex studied consumers in 32 global markets and found that active use by Facebook teen users (16 to 19 year olds) fell by 52 percent in the Netherlands and by 16 percent in the United States. Teens are abandoning Facebook in sharp numbers in other countries including Mexico, down by 35 percent, and in Turkey, France and Malaysia, down by 43 to 45 percent each. The decline is even being felt in South Africa, Poland and Russia where Facebook adoption is a much more recent phenomenon.

Facebook is encountering stiff competition from other social media platforms including WeChat, Vine, Flickr and Skype. Indeed, the top 11 sources attracting teens are mobile apps, demonstrating the technological savviness of today’s young consumers. One positive note for Facebook is that its own mobile app, Facebook Messenger, saw an 89 percent boost in usage over the past two quarters, while activity on Facebook pages has fallen. GlobalWebIndex measured teen involvement for the 3Q 2013 and compared it with 1Q 2013.

GlobalWebIndex noted that teens prefer social maps as well as private and closed messaging services. Facebook relies on peer-to-peer public sharing for user engagement, and then serves up ads related to those conversations.

SnapChat Thrives

SnapChat was only just added to the list of services tracked by GlobalWebIndex for the third quarter of 2013. Data shows that 10 percent of teens globally are using this photo messaging service, proving more popular than Line, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Vine. Going forward, GlobalWebIndex will have a better grasp of the impact SnapChat will have on Facebook and other social media tools.

GlobalWebIndex defines active Facebook usage as individuals that have an account on Facebook as well as people that have “used or contributed to Facebook in the past month on any device.” It differs from Facebook’s approach which can include signing in with a Facebook login on a third party site (such as a message board) or clicking a “Like” button. Users wouldn’t equate these steps with Facebook activity, thus the GlobalWebIndex approach provides a more accurate measurement.

Finding a Foothold in China

One important market that GlobalWebIndex is not able to measure is China. Home to more than 1.3 billion people, second only to India’s 1.4 billion, Facebook is banned in China. However, a free trade zone to be established near Shanghai will reopen access for Facebook and other western social media sites that have been blocked since 2009 following a period of intense internal unrest. If the Shanghai FTZ is successful it could provide for further liberalization of markets across China, perhaps enabling Facebook to stem its teenage slide.

Further Reading

15 Way Cool Social Networking Sites You Never Heard Of

7 Tips for Using Social Media to Choose a Great College

Study Says College Students Are Addicted to Social Media

5 Steps to Protect Your Social Profiles From Identity Theft


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