There is an ongoing debate about changing usage patterns on Facebook. A UK academic, Professor Daniel Miller of University College London, is leading an eight country, multi-city analysis of how Facebook is used, particularly among teenagers. His view is that the engine that drove Facebook forward, teen usage, is broken.
The study is called the Global Social Media Impact Study. Here is one big conclusion from it: “What we've learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried. Mostly, they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives.”
Teenagers are gravitating instead towards sites like Snapchat and Twitter, the former because interactions have no permanent record and the latter because it is so much easier to use. Whatsapp and Instagram are also quoted by Miller (who acknowledges in his blog post on an academic website, The Conversation, that Instagram is owned by Facebook).
Teens don’t appear to be migrating from Facebook as a statement against data gathering or privacy intrusions, the fact is, these alternatives are mobile-first apps and Facebook is still a web first platform. Even so, the share price had a great run this year.
Miller adds that young people are using alternative social networking sites for various reasons: “…the closest friends are connected to each other via Snapchat, Whatsapp is used to communicate with quite close friends and Twitter the wider friends. Facebook, on the other hand has become the link with older family, or even older siblings who have gone to university.”
Do you agree with this study? Which of the social networking sites do you prefer?
Article was culled from Forbes