The stories came fast and furious. Facebook usage among teen users was declining. Teens across the United States were flocking to other social networks. It turns out that’s not exactly true, and some of the apps they could flee to are owned by Facebook anyways. Namely, Instagram and Whatsapp.
A new report out from Forrester show that teens are not abandoning the social network in droves like other stories would have you believe. Granted, they may not like the social network, but it comes down to where is everyone at?
Analyst Nathan Elliot led the survey of 4,517 teens aged 12 to 17 about their social network usage – which networks and how often. Elliot summed it up in a blog post. “Sure, many data sources show that Facebook’s usage among young people has declined slightly—but the drops are small, and the huge majority of this audience still uses the site.”
The research reinforces COO Sheryl Sandberg’s comments on an earnings call last winter. The company admitted to some slippage in teen usage, but it had been blown way out of proportion. “As we said on the earnings call, overall U.S. teen usage of Facebook remains stable. The vast majority of U.S. teens are on Facebook. And the majority of U.S. teens use Facebook almost every day.”
With Forrester’s research in the public domain, it shows that YouTube and Facebook have a stranglehold on teens. It also shows that Google+ and Pinterest are perceived as more adult networks and they get shunned. I’m sure Pinterest doesn’t exactly care about the fact a 12-year old doesn’t use the site. Not exactly the advertisers demo.
One area where Facebook is having issues is in Europe. An EU-backed study found older teens turning away from the network in sizable numbers. Granted, the networks they are turning to include Instagram and WhatsApp, both Facebook properties.