May 23, 2013
Teens' Enthusiasm for Facebook Waning, New Pew Center/Harvard Study Shows: Leading Social Site Considered "Old-School" by Younger Crowd---But Teen Twitter Engagement Keeps Booming
For today's teens, Facebook is becoming yesterday's news—the younger crowd is increasingly flocking to different social media sites and spending less time on the social giant in order to to avoid their parents and "other adults," as well as rampant "oversharing," according to a new Pew Center/Harvard University study. But not all first-generation social sites are suffering from "old-school syndrome"—nearly a quarter of teens now use Twitter to catch up with friends and keep track of celebrities, indicating a big jump in usage.
One in four online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. That's higher than the 16% of online adults who now use Twitter, the LA Times reports.
Teens are increasingly turning to Twitter, mobile photo-sharing service Instagram and social blogging service Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo this week for $1.1 billion, as they express "waning enthusiasm" for Facebook, the survey found, reports Times writer Jessica Guynn.
Teens are posting more and more personal information on social media. The survey found that teens are more likely than they were even a few years ago to post photographs, their hometown, name of their school, email address and mobile phone number. On Facebook, 6 of 10 teens say they use restrictive privacy settings to be sure their posts are seen only by their friends. An additional 25% allow posts to be seen by friends of friends. On Twitter, a quarter of teens post updates privately to friends. Part of the appeal of Twitter is that teens don't have to use their real names so they don't have to worry about updates turning up in Google searches or being discovered by parents, the article reports.
Nevertheless, Facebook remains the go-to social network for teens, with 94% of online teens saying they have a profile on Facebook and 81% saying it is the social network they use most often. Seven percent of online teens say they use Twitter most often, while 3% say they use Instagram most often and 1% say Tumblr, according to the study.
One thing teens are not worried about—being targeted by online marketers and data brokers. Just 9% of teens said they were concerned about how their information is being collected. Nearly half of parents said they were concerned, the Times reports.