It’s been coming for a while. But a recent report makes it official. Teens no longer rate Facebook among their favorites. And that’s something to account for in social media management.
According to a Pew Research report, teens aged 13-17 prefer Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram to Facebook. Among teenagers who participated in Pew’s survey, 85 percent use YouTube, followed by 72 percent for Instagram, 69 percent for Snapchat, and 51 percent for Facebook.
Those numbers have to be of concern to top brass at Facebook (though their worry may be mitigated by their company’s ownership of Instagram). And they should be something other businesses take into account if part of their social media management strategy involves attracting adolescents. As Slate’s Will Oremus notes:
…it’s noteworthy that only 51 percent now say they use Facebook. That’s a dramatic drop from 2015, when 71 percent said the same. Even sharper has been the dropoff in those who identify Facebook as their most-used social platform: from 41 percent in 2015 to just 10 percent today.
So do those numbers mean a social media management strategy of abandoning Facebook will work? Well, one could try, but they wouldn’t get very far. Facebook is still overwhelmingly popular. According to Pew:
Facebook and YouTube dominate this landscape, as notable majorities of U.S. adults use each of these sites. At the same time, younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24) stand out for embracing a variety of platforms and using them frequently. Some 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and a sizeable majority of these users (71%) visit the platform multiple times per day. Similarly, 71% of Americans in this age group now use Instagram and close to half (45%) are Twitter users.
As has been the case since the Center began surveying about the use of different social media in 2012, Facebook remains the primary platform for most Americans. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.
What the report boils down to is that social media management has grown more complex with the growth of new platforms, not that such platforms as Facebook should be abandoned.