Teens turn from Facebook to fresher social-media sites

Jun 22, 2012 By Nick Foley

Facebook appears to have competition for teens' attention, and they're drifting to other social-media sites as evidence mounts that the growth of the world's largest social network is slowing.

Drawn to niche sites such as Foursquare and , teens appear to be expanding beyond Facebook. According to market research firm YPulse, 18 percent of teens prefer to "check in" on Foursquare instead of Facebook, and 10 percent say Pinterest is a better site for browsing.

"We're supportive of these websites growing, and the websites integrated with Facebook are more social because of it," said Malorie Lucich, communications manager for Facebook.

Facing mounting investor scrutiny after its disappointing , Facebook is under pressure to report increased growth and revenue to Wall Street.

But Facebook, which claims more than 900 million members, had 158 million unique visitors to its site in April, according to researcher , up just 5 percent from a year ago. That compares with year-over-year growth rates of 89 percent in April 2010.

More than eight years after Facebook's inception, its mass appeal has drawn older crowds who add their kids as . That development could be tarnishing the site's "cool factor" in the eyes of teens, said Jake Katz, chief architect at YPulse.

There are other reasons teens are divvying up their digital presence. It assures them more privacy, as well as new popularity among a smaller audience. Instagram, for example, features users' photos on its "Popular" page.

"There's a new flavor of gratification," that Facebook doesn't have, Katz said.

To meet rising mobile interests, where many teens surf the Internet and chat, the social giant has made strides to make its mobile app a crucial part of Facebook.

Facebook has sliced site functions into separate such as Facebook Messenger and Facebook Pictures, a move that could appeal to , as online identities spread across multiple sites, Katz said.

Also, the social network is testing ways to allow children under 13, now prohibited, to participate with parental supervision.

Explore further: Google removes news snippets in Germany legal fight

4 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Zynga shares tumble to fresh low on Facebook fears

Jun 12, 2012

Shares of the social media games maker Zynga plunged more than 10 percent Tuesday after an analyst note highlighted concerns about the impact on the firm of a shift to mobile Internet.

Facebook launches page for journalists

Apr 06, 2011

Facebook has launched a media resource page to help journalists use the social network as a reporting tool and better connect with their audience.

Recommended for you

Unlocking the geoblock with VPNs

3 hours ago

In recent months there have been many reports of Australians covertly signing up for the US streaming service Netflix, using fake postcodes and software workarounds to fool its geo-blocking system.

Twitter-funded lab to seek social media insights

17 hours ago

A new Twitter-funded research project unveiled Wednesday, with access to every tweet ever sent, will look for patterns and insights from the billions of messages sent on social media.

Facebook makes peace with gays over 'real names'

19 hours ago

Facebook on Wednesday vowed to ease its "real names" policy that prompted drag queen performers to quit the social network and sparked wider protests in the gay community and beyond.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wiyosaya
5 / 5 (1) Jun 22, 2012
And as these new sites wear, teens will shift away from them, too.