Perhaps one of the most frequently repeated ideas in the tech world is that teenagers are leaving Facebook in droves, choosing to use Twitter or other social networks instead. Even though there is quite a bit of data backing this up, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is now insisting that teens are not leaving the social network in massive numbers.
Even though teens may not be leaving the social network altogether, Sandberg did recognize the fact that as 2013 has progressed, the network has seen a decrease in the number of teenagers that use Facebook on a daily basis. This seems to suggest that although teens are not actually getting rid of their profiles, they are choosing to actually interact with other users on different social networks.
Usage Is Stable?
During an interview on Friday, Sandberg tried to ease concerns regarding how many teens are using the social network after CFO David Ebersman made comments suggesting that teen use of Facebook had decreased. Although she did not deny those comments, Sandberg noted that the media's reaction to them was "blown out of proportion."
"The vast majority of U.S. teens are on Facebook" she said. "And the majority of US teens use Facebook almost every day." Stating that the majority of US teens use Facebook every day does seem a little unlikely and that statement hinges on whether or not logging in but not interacting at all with user posts is actually "using" the social network.
“We are pleased that we remain close to fully penetrated among teens in the U.S.,” Ebersman said. “Usage among U.S. teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3, but we did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.”
Ebersman statement is what set off the frenzy of articles suggesting that Facebook was losing teen users. Fortunately for Facebook, very few people that infrequently use the network actually delete their accounts, allowing Facebook to say that its numbers are still very high in the U.S.
Twitter Is Growing
No matter what Facebook wants people to believe, its competitor, Twitter, is growing faster than any other social network and poses a huge threat to Facebook. Although Sandberg has tried to blame the reality that fewer teens are using Facebook on the fact that the social network is now 10 years old, there are some major differences in Twitter that make it a more appealing social network to 13-19 year olds.
Although Twitter has been growing faster than Facebook since 2012, Facebook is technically still growing. Whether or not Facebook's statistics are a good representation of its actual user base, the social network is losing ground to Twitter, but at the same time, it's breaking into new markets around the world.
Now that Twitter has gone through such a successful IPO, it is obvious that the growth potential for Twitter is at least on a par with Facebook's potential for growth and that will force Facebook to change its service if it wants to hold onto its younger users.
Posted: 2013-11-26 @ 7:10am PT
Facebook is far better because you can friend people but with Twitter you have to follow them. Some people might only have 4 followers which would be embarrassing, but you can have thousands of Facebook friends.
Posted: 2013-11-25 @ 5:41pm PT
Fact: People are leaving facebook because of terrible privacy. Fact: Nobody is voluntarily joining google+ because of terrible privacy. Fact: people are joining sites like Ravetree, EveryMe, and Zurker because they offer good privacy.