Is Facebook losing its hold on the younger generations?
Like the OJ verdict and the Clinton-Lewinski scandal, I’ll never forget where I was the first time my mom friend-requested me on Facebook. There was bellyaching, groaning, and any number of other visceral reactions to the same moment in time. We all experienced it – our parents finally, inevitably intruding on our online social outlet.
It was the end of an era. The dawning of a new age – an age wrought with anxiety over exactly what pictures you were tagged in. A burgeoning transition from a time when you were proud of the amount of keg-stand pictures you were the focal point of, to a turbulent, frenzied period where your social-networking time was divided evenly between deleting tags and soliciting friends not to tag you.
But, as sure as the wheel of the world turns, there comes of age yet another generation. A generation that find us too old even to be on Facebook. And weren’t we the pioneers? Weren’t we there during the “thefacebook.com” year(s?), when only college students could log on? Wistful nostalgia for a younger time aside, this new generation, teens 13 – 18 years of age, are also apparently experiencing the groans.
A recent study of that age group – who basically never knew a world without social-networking – found that a good number of them spend more of their time on sites other than Facebook. Not only that, but young adults (aged 19 – 25) yield similar results.
Tumblr, an image sharing site with millions of blogs and billions of current posts, nets 61% of teens and 57% of young adults. Only slightly less is the juggernaut Facebook (at 55% and 52%, respectively). But alas, therein lies the point: Facebook all of a sudden finds itself, at least for the aforementioned demographics, in the renowned company of Pepsi and Burger King – in second place.
Also making a splash is the brand new Snapchat – an app that allows users to send pictures (altered or unaltered) to a pre-determined group of people for between 1 and 10 seconds before it is automatically deleted from devices and servers (gee, no concerns there). And while Snapchat currently boasts only a 13% share of teens and 4% of young adults, the fact that even that many are already drifting away from Facebook to a brand new app is telling.
Twitter and Instagram seem to maintain their customary significant but backseat role on this one.
So while Mark Zuckerberg probably celebrated the hundreds of thousands of new Facebook users when our parents logged on, he may or may not have considered it a harbinger of what appears to be the beginning of an exodus. Facebook is undoubtedly a mainstay, but for a generation whose grandparents are likely now friend-requesting them, it’s no wonder they are navigating to hipper pastures.
Is Facebook still your number one social-networking site? Let us know in the comment section below.