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This Teen Says Her Friends Don’t Use Facebook

Submitted by on August 12, 2013 – 8:21 amNo Comment
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Conventional wisdom has long said that Facebook’s future lies with increasingly young users. The social network has shifted away from being a static network of profiles, to being an ever-changing stream of real-time interactions, presumably to accommodate a new generation of users who are always logged on. But one 13-year-old says that Facebook just isn’t cool anymore; and she and her friends have latched onto other social networks before they were even allowed to have Facebook profiles.

Writing on Mashable, New York middle schooler Ruby Karp says that “Facebook is losing teens.” The young blogger says that she and her friends all flocked to Instagram before their parents could impose restrictions or oversight, and are now happy with the network they’ve established there.

Interestingly, many of Karp’s observations echo widely acknowledged truths about Facebook and social media, but in easy-to-understand language. In other words, Facebook’s problems are so simple and so obvious, even a kid can see them.

On achieving critical mass for a successful social network:

Although I do have a Facebook, none of my other friends do… I decided to get a Facebook just to see what it was all about. I soon discovered that Facebook is useless without friends. My only friend is, like, my grandma.

On Facebook’s frequently changing features:

There’s too much going on. The change from the old Facebook to the Timeline was very all of a sudden… [It's not] the Facebook it was when I was seven. …it was just kind of like, “We liked it the way it was. Why are you changing it?”

On sponsored content:

No offense, but when I’m looking through my News Feed I don’t really care about Pantene’s new product.

(Some have argued that Facebook can never compete with Google, Amazon, or even Yelp for ad revenues, because users are often actually looking to buy something when they use those other sites.)

The most recent data from the Pew Research Center found that 86% of US internet users aged 18-29 use Facebook, with a clear downward trend as age increases. The data seem to suggest that users 13-17 would also have a very high percentage of Facebook users, but this demographic was not surveyed. However, another Pew survey from May shows that teens do in fact “have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama’”.

What do you think? Are tweens and teens avoiding Facebook?

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