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Facebook still popular among teens: Love it or hate it but you can never leave it

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Although a number of recent reports have suggested that teenage users are losing interest in Facebook and turning to other options that may not be the case after all. A survey of 4,500 children between the ages of 12 and 17 showed that Facebook is still the most popular social networking website by far.

Facebook earnings report in October said that teens were using Facebook slightly less frequently than in the previous quarter, many media reports claimed that young people were fleeing Facebook for other social networking sites. However, a research report by Nate Elliot claims that decline in usage is miniscule compared to the overwhelming number of teens that still use the service.

"The results were clear," Elliot says in the report. "Facebook remains young users' favorite social network. More than three-quarters of online youth use Facebook - twice as many as use Pinterest or Tumblr or Snapchat, and more than use Instagram and WhatApp combined. And 28 percent of young users who are on Facebook say they use it 'all the time,' a higher percentage than said this about any other social network."

The only social media website used by more teens than Facebook is YouTube, and even the enormously popular video site doesn't have the day-to-day usage that Facebook does. Less than 25 percent of teens surveyed reported using YouTube "all the time."

Previous studies reported that many teens don't like Facebook very much. The increasing adult presence on the site, with accompanying friend requests from parents and other relatives, has caused some teens to leave Facebook for other services. Users also cite oversharing and "drama" as reasons they are dissatisfied with the site. Although these concerns may create a picture of teenage users refusing to use Facebook, that's not what the data shows.

In fact, teens are staying on Facebook despite their frustrations with the site. Most claim it has become too important to their social lives to abandon completely. Teens who use other social networking sites reported a greater degree of enthusiasm for those services, yet most continue to use Facebook as well. Although websites like Twitter and Instagram are rapidly gaining ground among teens, it seems clear that at least for now, Facebook is here to stay.

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