Facebook? What’s that, granddad? Teenagers fall out of love with Zuckerberg's social network
Once the darling of the social networking world, it looks as though Facebook is falling out of favor. At least that seems to be the case with teenagers. An extensive and ongoing study into social media finds that huge swathes of 16 to 18 year-olds are abandoning Facebook and jumping ship to the likes of Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. In total, nine different regions are being studied over a course of 15 months.
As Professor of Material Culture at University College London, Daniel Miller says, Facebook is now uncool. Mum and Dad are now not only using the social network (which is an immediate nail in the coffin), but actively encouraging their kids to share details about what they're doing: "Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected".
While the likes of Whatsapp have exploded in popularity none of the alternatives which are attracting younger users offer quite the same set of options as Facebook. Instagram is great for sharing photos, but in terms of organization and interaction, it is found wanting. Snapchat and Twitter have their plus points, but lack a lot of functionality.
Which social networks do you align yourself with? Have you found that your preferences have changed over the years or do you stick ruggedly to whichever network you first used? I was something of a lurker on Facebook for a couple of years before becoming fully immersed in it. At 34, I probably fit neatly into the average demographic and I like the network because it offers a nice combination of instant communication and slower, laid-back newsy style.
Twitter was more of a slowburner for me. Again, I signed up for an account pretty much as soon as it was possible to do so, and then did little for some time. Twitter bemused me, and I couldn’t see the point. Then I experimented and found that it blended blogging, instant messaging and news delivery in one neat package. I'm now in love. Force me to choose two networks to use and Twitter and Facebook would win without question, but choosing between these two to pick a winner would be hard.