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Teens Bailing on Facebook? We Think So.

June 27, 2012

It’s been a widely held view that sooner or later the teens would pack up and move elsewhere as their parents arrived on Facebook.  We think that time has arrived and will go out on a limb to predict that there will be research published by Pew or similar any week/month that shows:

  • Teen accounts will remain open, but
  • Dramatic decreases in frequency of teen Facebook user sessions
  • When user sessions do occur, metrics like time on site and page views will also be tanking

In our own interaction with teens we’re seeing a wholesale changeover to the Instagram platform.  Could this be why Facebook bought them?  Here’s somebody making that argument.  If you are familiar with Instagram, it’s the ultimate killer app for Teens and what they do:  text and share photos.  Instagram is a lean, mean machine designed just for this purpose.

If our observations are, indeed, accurate, it might be yet another manifestation of the coming niche-social trend we’ve been observing.

In an effort to back up these observations by citing some recent data, we searched and searched.  We found nothing.  But we did find this penned last month, which says it all without data.  Who needs stinkin’ data?!   Here are some excerpts:

Teenagers are leaving Facebook for Instagram. Not because they like it better but because most adults don’t use it.

Seems most adults just think they have burned out on social media, but in reality they are all leaving Facebook for Instagram because the adults aren’t there.

I asked her if it was because they wanted to post stuff that adults wouldn’t approve of and she explained this was not the issue…the issue was space, real estate, a room of their own so to speak. Seems we are invading their privacy a little. Instagram is like them closing their bedroom door while they chat with their friends, Facebook has become the living room there the adults hang out.

Other conversation revealed that really we just are flat boring to them with all of our funny postings, sad postings, political opinion postings, but most of all because they feel like they have no place they can call their own. A place just for them.

She says it’s about silly pictures that is them, a place to exchange the things they relate too and “mostly” requires no comment. A chat with friends through pictures, they are mobile not chained to that land line as we were as teenagers.

Social media posting is evolving again it is becoming a sort of art form to them, an expression of their life in pictures that needs no interpretation.

A method of communication where the snapshot conveys all that is needed for “we were here” and “you should have been there” .

Any one feel old yet ? Dumped by the teenagers.

While we see teens continuing to share on Facebook the big announcements/pic/vids they want the universe to know about, we believe the long predicted migration has begun.  The teens have snuck out of the house party and the adults have not yet officially noticed.  And before they suck out, they cloked themselves so you couldn’t see what they were doing anyways.

If you are a New Market Entrepreneur targeting teens and planing to execute part or all of your marketing on Facebook, you may want to consider testing alternatives like Instagram, Tumblr and Foursquare.   The latter two are other social sites seeing big bumps in teen use recently.

Keep us posted on what you’re seeing out there with teens and especially if you come across any data confirming or denying our hunch.

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