In what could be yet another nail in Facebook’s teenage problem coffin, a study has found that the social networking website is “dead and buried” to the older teenage population. As noted earlier, the beneficiaries of Facebook’s decline are services like Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.
The Guardian has carried a report of the research carried out in eight European Union countries, called the Global Social Media Impact Study. The study was conducted for teenagers in the age group of 16 to 18. It confirmed earlier reports that suggested the excessive presence of parents and older population was driving teens away from Facebook.
Leave 'em kids alone!
Daniel Miller, a Professor of Material Culture at the University College London, involved with the study wrote in a blog post earlier that Facebook was “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried.” Things have changed so much that Facebook, that once used to be the hub of all teenage activity on the Internet, has become a service that older teens are now “embarrassed” to be associated with. Parents now know how to use the website and insist on sharing their lives on it.
In what is known as the Levi’s effect, we heard about in earlier studies, youngsters are trying to search for newer, cooler things that are now far removed from parental vision. Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp are likely contenders for the crown toppling from Facebook’s head. “What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request,” wrote Miller. “It is nothing new that young people care about style and status in relation to their peers, and Facebook is simply not cool anymore.”
A lot of people and Facebook naysayers will be willing to put their money on Snapchat, because the service is not just far removed from parents’ eyes, it’s also ultra-private to the point that the messages self destruct. Snapchat has gained rapid popularity in the past few months globally, especially in the west. The fierce competition with Facebook is so much so that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has said that people are using the service to send out more snaps daily than the number of photos uploaded on Facebook.
Other services like Twitter are also trying to incorporate the private image sharing and messaging angle to their services with a vengeance to be able to eat into some of Snapchat’s share. However, whether Snapchat will officially come out as the hub of all things teenagers next year still remains to be seen. Facebook’s arch rival, Twitter, will be watching keenly.
Publish date: December 31, 2013 9:15 am| Modified date: January 2, 2014 2:24 pm