Teens Continue To Distance Themselves From Facebook

The rise in popularity of instant messaging apps and photo sharing programs like Snapchat that have built-in text messaging features may be contributing to a mini-exodus of teens from Facebook. Based on figures in a report released by Frank N. Magid Associates Inc., 88 percent of social media using teens between the ages of 13-17 years old spend time on Facebook, down from 94 percent in 2013 and 95 percent in 2012.

Meanwhile, Twitter and messaging applications have seen a rise in popularity among the same demographic during the same time period, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Though to put that in perspective, Twitter usage among 13-17 year olds is 48 percent, still well below that of Facebook. Nevertheless, if you're Mark Zuckerberg and company, you have to be concerned about the recent trend towards other social hangouts.

Facebook Dog
Yo dawg, where did all the teens go? Image Source: Flickr (Pete Markham)

Generally speaking, Facebook's overall user base tends to be older -- around 55 percent of Facebook Messenger users are 37 years old or younger. If you look at Snapchat, a wildly popular photo and video messaging application, 86 percent of its users are under 37. To Facebook's credit, it tried to buy Snapchat on more than one occasion, though its owners turned down separate $1 billion and $3 billion offers.

This is something Facebook would be wise to figure out, as teens are big drivers of what's popular in the social and mobile spaces. And of course there's the example of MySpace, a once hugely popular social network that now only has 1 million users.

"Facebook has been so deeply embedded in the lives of the people that the fade is going to be slow," said Tero Kuittinen, a managing director at Magid in New York. "People just start being vaguely dissatisfied and then after a while they stop using it."