The relationship status between teen Internet users and Facebook is perennially set to “it’s complicated,” and we’ve known that for a while now: There are too many adults, too much drama, and too many stories about things that don’t really concern them on the site that’s, without contest, the most used social platform on the Web. Last month, a survey reported that Twitter was the social media platform of choice when it comes to teen users, but now it seems that the micro-blogging site – as well as Facebook – has reportedly been dethroned once again, this time by YouTube.
A new survey initiated by consulting firm The Futures Company asked participants to list their top five favorite websites and out of over 4,000 teen users interviewed, 50 percent declared YouTube to be their favorite site, besting Facebook’s 45.2 percent, according to Mashable. The rest of the list includes Amazon (27.8 percent), Google (25 percent), Twitter (19.5 percent), Yahoo (12.1 percent), eBay (10.7 percent) and Tumblr (12.3 percent).
“Facebook remains the favorite website overall among our sample of 12- to 29-year-olds,” clarified Rob Callender, director of youth insights at the Futures Co, suggesting that Facebook’s popularity within the demographic may be attributed more to the older users and not necessarily the teens. Facebook’s dominance over the twenty-something demographic was pegged at 55 percent, followed by Amazon at 37.5 percent.
The findings highlighted in a yet-to-be-released report confirm Facebook’s admission that teens are losing interest in the social network: Only 18.3 percent of teens between the age of 12 and 15 admitted to being “addicted to Facebook,” compared to 30.5 percent of users in their 20s. It also reveals that Twitter is doing fairly well, slowly-but-surely increasing from last year’s 14.1 percent to 16.5 percent favor within the 12 to 29 age bracket. Overall, Facebook’s popularity rating took a nosedive from 57.6 percent to 51.7 percent.
Asking people what their favorite sites are may produce biased results, as users from different age groups tend to prioritize different things in their social media experience. The fact that YouTube reigned supreme for the kids may be more due to the fact that the site is a treasure trove of fun and entertaining content that’s relevant to their generation. Nevertheless, if that were true, that is still a statistic worth studying and keeping an eye on if Facebook wants to keep its advertisers – who will have a lot to gain by switching over to a platform that’s attracting the young market.