17 Nov 2013

Here's Where Teens Are Going Instead Of Facebook

By Parmy Olson at Forbes:

Earlier this month Facebook’s chief financial officer, David Ebersman confirmed a worrying, but long-suspected trend for the world’s biggest social network: teenagers, perhaps the most important demographic for a modern-day communication tool, were becoming less active on the site.

“We did see a decrease in daily users, partly among younger teens,” Ebersman admitted, referring to usage numbers from the second to third quarters of 2013. Researchers at GlobalWebIndex, a syndicated study on digital consumers in 32 markets, recently confirmed this decline.

Having surveyed teenagers in 30 countries, they revealed that the number of teenagers claiming to be active on Facebook (ie. doing more than just “liking” a separate page on the web) had dropped to 56% in the third quarter of 2013, from 76% in the first.

The biggest decline in active usage (by 52%) was in the Netherlands; there was a 16% fall for American teens.

Where are they going instead? Not surprisingly, it’s mobile chat services like WeChat, and photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

What’s truly startling though, is how quickly global teenagers are taking up the services instead:

The latest research from GlobalWebIndex, out Tuesday and with the accompanying graphic above, shows that Chinese messaging platform WeChat has seen the most rapid growth in active users aged between 16 and 19 — by an incredible 1,021% — between the first and second quarters of this year.

The other big wins have been for video sharing app Vine, owned by Twitter, and the mobile app for photo-sharing app Flickr. Active teen users for Vine grew by 639% and for Flickr by 254%, according to research group’s estimates.

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