Facebook is for olds.
This is nothing new for anyone acquainted with a high schooler, but a survey from financial firm Piper Jaffray once again found teens prefer Twitter to Facebook. 26 percent of teens chose Twitter as their social network as choice, while 23 percent chose Facebook and Instagram. The company surveyed 8,600 teens, and the Twitter-Facebook-Instagram trifecta pulled way out in front of other social networks — poor Google+ only nabbed three percent of the vote.
Now, it’s not like Twitter is ahead by all that much, and a three percent margin might not seem like that big of a deal. But it’s noteworthy because Piper Jaffray took a similar survey earlier this year, and Facebook came out on top with 33 percent of teen allegiance. During the previous survey, Piper Jaffray pointed out that Facebook’s stronghold over teens was in decline, with fewer choosing it as the most important website.
People have been writing about how teens are moving from Facebook to Twitter for the past year or so, and they’re right, but that doesn’t mean Facebook has to fret yet. Instagram remains popular with young people, and it is prepping for video ads in coming months, which will provide additional revenue. And Facebook continues to gain users at a promising clip; with his push to spread Internet access to developing countries, it appears Zuckerberg is more focused on hooking international users than retaining the alliance of young people.
Facebook’s precipitous drop in popularity among young people is something the company should be worried about in the long term; if it loses its position as the mainstay, need-to-have network among young people, its status as a dominant social network will wither as its user base ages. Of course, Facebook has been planting the seeds to expand from a social network into much more for a while now; with Graph Search, the company clearly intends to edge into search engine territory.