Facebook: Losing youngsters to mobile upstarts?
With the rise of Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat (China), Vine, and the continued popularity of Instagram in 2013, there has been speculation and discussion across the second-half of 2013 that Facebook is losing its Mojo with the young/hip crowd.
For the first time Piper Jaffray’s initially launched its semi-annual report on the habits of American teens, Facebook lost its spot as the most important social network among teenagers. Take a short look at the bottom of the graph at the rise of “other” services, lumping many of the new mobile/social services together.
This past month Facebook finally admitted what social media analysts had been saying for a while; it was in fact seeing a “decrease in daily users, specifically among teens.” As the Guardian points out, however, teenagers are still on Facebook and still have their accounts; they’re just not using it as much as they did in the past.
Teens often lead the charge when it comes to adoption of the next big social media thing, so it is no wonder that the folks at Facebook are worried and recently offered to acquire Snapchat for $3 Billion.
If the younger folks really do stop spending time on Facebook, brands focused on a younger demographic will quickly look to re-adjust their focus–despite having invested loads of cash on the social platform over the last couple of years.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves–Facebook still has over 1 Billion users–let’s take a quick look at some of the free analysis tools to see if search trends or chatter on Twitter can tell us anything about Facebook sentiment & popularity.
Google Trends data shows a slight decline in general search interest for Facebook worldwide across 2013–nothing overly serious here it seems.
Topsy, which covers all conversation on Twitter, shows Facebook holding steady vs some of the mobile first upstarts when it comes to Tweets, ReTweets & Replies across the Twittersphere over the last year:
When looking at sentiment, scores on Twitter, Vine takes the top spot with Facebook in the middle. Snapchat brings up the rear–most likely due to negative perception around the use of graphic “selfies” on the service.
While research data shows that the “hip kids” are rapidly moving on to other social platforms, there was nothing really conclusive in the short analysis of search interest and online chatter that we just did in this post.
It will be interesting to see if the brands looking to connect with a younger audience respond to the shift away from Facebook as 2014 approaches.
What are your thoughts?