A new survey shows that teen interest in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is dwindling, begging the question: Is Facebook doomed to be the next Myspace?
A new study by Piper Jaffray shows that just 33 percent of the 5,200 teens surveyed viewed Facebook as their most important social network. This is far below the 42 percent that had Facebook as their most important social network last year, though still good enough to keep the Social Network in first place.
Twitter, at 30 percent, was the second most important social tool, followed by Instagram and Tumblr, which received 17 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Although Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr increased their percentage from last year, Instagram—which is owned by Facebook—had the highest jump at 5 percent.
Facebook’s waning popularity among teens isn’t new to them, it seems. Just last February in the company’s 10-K annual report, they iterated: “We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook”…
Why Facebook Should Be Worried
Anytime a social network is losing interest with the teenage demographic, it cannot be ignored. Not only are teens the age group with the longest potential membership for a social network, oftentimes this age group is the indicator of what will be popular in the future.
The only reason Myspace was ever relevant in the first place was because of its staggering membership among teens. Facebook, although heavily reliant on college-aged and adult users, needs to find a way to stay relevant among the world’s young people.
Why Facebook Should NOT Be Worried
The one thing that Facebook has going, which not even Twitter can interfere with, is that it is the premier site to keep in touch with friends. While Twitter offers the ability to follow your friends Tweets, if you want to see the majority of their photos, see where they’ve been recently, or have a conversation with them—Facebook is unquestionably the best option. Moreover, monster companies such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) have tried to steal Facebook users with Google+ to no avail. In reality, the only social network stealing engaged users from Facebook is LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD); even so, those users are business oriented.
So the alarmists proclaiming that Facebook could be the next Myspace are just that—alarmists. Although it will be important for Facebook to attract more young people’s minds as an addictive routine, there’s no reason it’s going to disappear into oblivion like Myspace.
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