According to a study published in October 10, 2013 by leading investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray, more than half of the teens surveyed said social media does impact their purchases. Twitter was cited as being the most popular with 26% voters, followed by Facebook. The study showed that the popularity of Facebook among teens had declined, with only 23% of the respondent favoring it in 2013, down from 42% in 2012. The study concluded that Twitter has gained precedence over Facebook during the past couple of years and that there has been a teen shopper exodus from Facebook to Twitter.
The results of study by digital media agency iStrategylabs published in January 2014 also showed that Facebook’s popularity among teenagers and college students is waning. According to the study, which says it used data from Facebook’s own Social Advertising platform, more than 11 million teens have left Facebook since 2011. The proportion of teenagers aged 13 to 17 on Facebook have declined by 25.3% over the past three years, says the study.
When asked why they abandoned Facebook, young people cite reasons such as boredom, increasing use of faster, phone based mobile apps, feelings that it’s become too corporate, and overpopulation by adults.
And where are these teens going? Instagram, Snapchat, messaging apps Kik and WhatsApp, Twitter, Pheed and AskFm have see a huge growth with the younger market as teens leave Facebook. A 2013 Pew Internet study found that teens are migrating to the social networking platforms with less privacy concerns.
What does this mean for Facebook marketing? Well, Grant Feller who heads a digital media consultancy point outs that things are not as bleak as they look. The reason is that Facebook’s popularity is growing in another demographic â€“ the over-50s, a market that grew 80% since 2011. Feller reminds us that this is the age-group that controls four-fifths of American wealth so adding on those aged 45 and above, would make this a market of 180+ million users. This means that Facebook still has huge marketing potential among those who really matter.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Facebook doesn’t care about teens. Commenting on teen migration on Facebook’s tenth birthday earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg said “We’re going to focus on building things that teens are going to like and we’re also going to focus on building things that other folks are going to like in different countries around the world, and that’s just what we need to do to serve all the people who rely on us”. The news is that Facebook is working on a number of standalone mobile apps and will launch them this year.