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More Teens Veer Away from Facebook. Who’s Gaining from This Great Migration of Youngsters?

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Facebook usage among teenagers has seen a gradual decline in recent years. A study showed that 13 to 17 year olds are logging in to Facebook at a decreasing number of times. As the younger generation veers away from the site, they seem to be moving to other social networks such as Twitter.

According to the survey that was conducted by research firm Frank N. Magid Associates, the percentage of U.S. teens from the age of 13 to 17 who use Facebook has dropped to 88 percent in 2014. Last year, the percentage was recorded at 94 percent. Two years ago, it was 95 percent. 
Within the same period of making the comparison, the study also showed that Twitter and other messaging apps have increased in their popularity with the same age group. In 2013, Twitter users from the same age group of 13 to 17 had reached 48 percent which is an increase from last year's 46 percent.

Tero Kuittinen, a managing director at Magid, said that the issue of the decline in Facebook usage among the teenagers triggers a bigger concern. 

"You look at Facebook and you say, 'Wow, something really changed in 2014,'" said Kuittinen. "If kids are starting to use so much of their daily time on messaging apps, surely it's going to hurt somebody." 

Though the user base of Facebook seemed to belong at an older age, there are actually more people who use Facebook and its messaging app instead of using the other competing sites. Fifty five percent of the users of Facebook Messenger were said to be 37 years old or younger. Among Snapchat and Kik users, 86 percent and 83 percent respectively were under 37. 

Some of the reasons on the decline of Facebook's appeal among the teenagers is the group's perception of the site's safety. Only 9 percent of those who were surveyed said that they can trust Facebook as safe. Eighteen percent of the teens also described Facebook as not much fun. In contrast, 40 percent use the same word to describe Pinterest.

Apart from Pinterest, other socially-networked sites and apps that have been gaining an increasing number of teen followers include Instagram and WhatsApp. The latter, according to one survey, belongs to the top instant messaging apps that are increasing in popularity among teens and adults. It is currently used by 9 percent of those who were surveyed. The biggest percentage was earned by Snapchat that enjoys 18 percent of the user base. Apple's iMessage comes second at 17 percent while Google Hangouts is tied with WhatsApp's 9 percent user base.

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