Teens are so almost over Facebook and would rather Kik it in a discussion about some viral tweets or weird snaps they've received, according to a recent report from Frank. N. Magid Associates.
With its ambitious goal of connecting the entire world, Facebook has been working to innovate with features that could keep 13- to 17-year-old users on its social networking site. Facebook refuses to use the word clones when referring to software it has released to siphon some of the popularity of messaging rivals such as SnapChat and Kik, but it has been having a hard time shaking people way from the originals.
The latest report states that Facebook's 13- to 17-year-old demographic slipped from 94 percent to 88 percent this year, with those numbers excluding individuals who don't use social networks. Meanwhile, that group's use of Twitter rose 2 percent to 48 percent over the same period.
Firstable (the latest word for first of all, for those not too cool for school), the decline in teen users can be largely attributed to rival messaging apps and the public distrust of Facebook. Approximately 9 percent of the 1,934 smartphone users surveyed by Magid Associates stated they believed Facebook was a safe and trustworthy social network.
"You look at Facebook and you say, 'Wow, something really changed in 2014,' " says Tero Kuittinen, a managing director at Magid. "If kids are starting to use so much of their daily time on messaging apps, surely it's going to hurt somebody."
About 55 percent of Facebook's Messenger users are under 37 years old. That same group makes up 86 percent and 83 percent of Snapchat and Kik's users, respectively.
Secondable (see the firstable hyperlink), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says there isn't much headroom for his company's social networking site. Teen use is still higher on Facebook than any other social network, despite the sliding numbers.
While Facebook may be seeing a sustained slide of its teen demographic, the social networking company's acquisitions have been serving as safety nets. Many of those leaving Facebook and its Messenger app are landing on two of the company's other properties: Instagram and WhatsApp.
It was foresight on Facebook's part, acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram to find tools to keep teens engaged, according to Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter Group. Along with working to a mobile future, Facebook has take steps to ensure that it finds ways to serve younger users, Solis stated.
"The reality is that teens have everyday social situations that adults don't have," stated Solis. "They have a real-life social network every single day and for that they are using a lot of real-time text-related communication."