Teenagers are abandoning Facebook in their droves, a study by the Global Social Media Impact Study found. Instead youngsters are shifting to alternative platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter for their social media fix.
A study of how older teenagers use social media has found Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried” and is being replaced by simpler social networks, an expert has claimed.
Professor Daniel Miller is on the research team and writes: “Facebook is not just on the slide — it is basically dead and buried. What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mom sends you a friend request.”
“It is nothing new that young people care about style and status in relation to their peers, and Facebook is simply not cool anymore.”
The 15-month study is due to be completed in 2014, and is also looking at attitudes towards online privacy: field tests in Italy found that 40 percent of Facebook users had never changed their privacy settings, while 80 percent were unconcerned about who could see their updates or access their data.
“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,” said Miller.
WhatsApp has overtaken Facebook as the No. 1 way to send messages, said the researchers, while Snapchat has gained in popularity in recent months by allowing users to send images which “self-destruct” after a short period on the recipient’s phone in order to maintain privacy.
Snapchat says 350 million images are sent every day, and reportedly recently turned down a $3 billion US acquisition offer from Facebook.
Researchers found that close friends used Snapchat to communicate, while WhatsApp was used with acquaintances and Twitter broadcasted to anyone who chose to follow that person.
The study found that Facebook was now used by teenagers as a way to stay in touch with older members of their family and siblings who have left for university and has “evolved into a very different animal” from its early days as a social network focusing on young users at university.
Facebook will be a decade old in 2014.
– The Telegraph/ Anesu Marshall