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back to article Teens break up with Facebook

In May 2012 Facebook is set to launch one of the top-25 IPOs in history. By May 2013 it may well be scrambling to keep investors happy, given the apparent flight of teenagers to Twitter, Pinterest, and flavor-of-the-month social media. It's not that Facebook has lost its mojo. It's that it may be becoming cool with the wrong …

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Interesting, but...

I might be missing it, but I couldn't actually see any graphs, data, or references to studies which actually show a decline in the teenage usage of Facebook? Only the author's personal experience, details growth of teen use of twitter and others - but no actual evidence to support the headline.

Not saying that it isn't happening, just that it would be nice to have some supporting data. Growth of competitor products, which is the main focus of the article, does not necessarily equate to a a reduction in Facebook use - most people I know that use Twitter also use Facebook.

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Anonymous Coward

Anecdotal

I told my 12 year old daughter she can't have a facebook account until she's 13. She set up a twitter account and I discovered most of the other girls in her class have one.

My 16 year old son has both Facebook and Twitter - he's received replies from celebrities when he's commented on their posts - this is compelling for him and other teens.

Of course, facebook has significant value in data mining - advertisers can target specific demographics, likes etc. Much better than Google and I've no idea how Twitter expect to make money in the long term.

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Re: Anecdotal

> he's received replies from celebrities

Hmm, just like my Gran got a card from "The Queen" on her 100th birthday. Perhaps you should point out to your son that these "celebrities" pay whole armies of secretaries to read and answer tweets, like they did for fan letters in the past. One of my friends works for a company developing programs to tweet responses automatically, no human intervention needed. The sleb will almost never actually see anything that was posted, and certainly will be too busy partying to reply personally.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anecdotal

ok so maybe the "super A list" celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga might have a team of people tweeting for them but there are plenty of "minor" celebrities who will tweet you back sometimes. I've had tweets from Bruce Hood, Paul Daniels, Penn Jilette, Simon Pegg and Lloyd Kaufman to name just a few. They are far from A-list but celebrities they still are and they DO tweet you back (rarely).

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Meh

Re: Anecdotal

@Phil

Yes, I pointed out exactly that to my teenage daughter when she was particularly obnoxious about getting mentioned by Smiley Vyrus, and was immediately pilloried by said daughter AND Mrs Borked for "ruining her moment"

so much for keepin' it real...

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Anonymous Coward

*minor* celebrities

I've only heard of one of those people! Sadly, it was Paul Daniels...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *minor* celebrities

you've had a tweet from Paul Daniels lol that made my day.

Sent from my twitpic

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anecdotal

Just because you haven't figured out how to monetize Twitter doesn't mean that they haven't.

Posted Anon for a good reason.

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Re: Anecdotal

Maybe, maybe not. I'm not a twitterer myself, but I have friends who use it to follow some celebs. We've been to conventions where those celebs have been very approachable and more than happy to talk at length with their fans. I can envision them responding personally to a tweet they liked, possibly even forwarding it to their list. Doesn't mean there aren't others who don't use an army of responders or even bots.

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Re: Anecdotal

I think Google+ has different data-mining advantages. Facebook gets information you explicitly decide to enter by clicking Like. Google gathers data by monitoring your activity, what youtube videos you watch, browser search strings, URL strings (if you use Chrome), scraping gmail text, etc. It's probably more complex for Google to analyze its data, but it has the advantage that much of their data is aquired involuntarily, from all users regardless of what they "like".

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Re: Anecdotal

I reckon Simon Pegg probably does qualify as an A-Lister now, given his large supporting roles in numerous Hollywood blockbusters,,,

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Pirate

Re: Anecdotal

> Paul Daniels

You know, I've tried tweeting and FB messaging to him, never replies to me... I'm waiting for him to release his domain so I can take it back! For too long have I lived in his shadow.

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Windows

Re: *minor* celebrities

I was going to post the same, but lacked your courage!

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FAIL

Not really thinking, are they?

If the kids were smart, they'd use Google+'s much more granular access controls, allowing them to have all kinds of groups of contacts separated, so it's easy to share the party on Friday with your mates, but not your parents. Or the other kids you don't want to invite...

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Happy

Re: Not really thinking, are they?

Hmm...teenagers...thinking rationally...

Nope. That's a new one on me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not really thinking, are they?

I suggested this. Response - "Everyone is on Facebook, no one is on Google+"

How do you break that ?

That said, MySpace had a lot of users before Murdoch killed it off.

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Re: Not really thinking, are they?

So unfair I HATE YOU

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Re: Not really thinking, are they?

A good explanation of the phenomenon you describe is shown in this slideshow

http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2

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Go

Re: Not really thinking, are they?

I did not bother with eye-bleeding MySpace, went with FB instead. Then I went to Twitter when the MySpace refugees hit FB. I'm now on G+ (though I still use FB to keep in touch with the oldies).

I find I'm one of those types who tends to flee social networks when all the teens arrive so looks like I recently abandoned Twitter right on cue. What does category does that put me in?

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Re: Not really thinking, are they?

That might have been true when Google+ first launched but Facebook's content permissions system is equally as powerful these days. Teenagers could easily assign their parents to a group that doesn't have permission to view most of their posts. The reason they're not doing this I think has more to do with not wanting uncle s and granny b to be able to bombard them with messages on,a service these kids are known to check regularly. Atleast with email they could just tell granny they haven't signed into hotmail recently but they'll check out that hilarious chainmail ASAP.

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Anonymous Coward

Keep Refrigerated - Re: Not really thinking, are they?

The hipster category.

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Anonymous Coward

What about overall growth?

The overall growth of all social network usage in the graph is 7%, when Twitter is 8% (If you can interpret the numbers in the graph, which is horrible by the way). If we assume that there are only two social networks, i.e. Facebook and Twitter, the data says, that either all new teen social network users flock to Twitter, or the exodus to Twitter is compensated by influx of other new users.

So please do not run away with the first hypothesis you got after glance to data, analyze it a bit more. And lose the horrible graphs. Go read Tufte for example.

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FAIL

Re: What about overall growth?

er wut?

Teens on social networks grew from 73% to 80%: Growth of 9.5%

Teens on twitter grew from 8% to 16%: Growth of 100%

Who needs graph reading skills?

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Re: What about overall growth?

I never liked statisticians who quote rates of growth based on current company size.

He is more right than you, even if he used the wrong words. Both % are of the total teen market. FB got 7% more of the total market, Twitter got 8% more of the total market. That makes FB the better investment if you're trying to reach all teens, because they have 80% of the market and twitter only has 16%. That also plays into whether or not the "Twitter has more bang for your buck" argument should determine where you spend your dollars. Yes, if you've got a nothing ad budget you go with twitter, but if you want to reach the most teens, you still have to shell out for FB.

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Anonymous Coward

A plague on all of them

I stayed last weekend at a delightful pub in the countryside. One family there was having a real problem with their teenage daughter.

Why?

The simple reason was that the pub had no Mobile Phone signal. There was wired internet in one of the bars but that was it. Bliss. Lovely countryside and no frigging phones....

Sadly the poor girl started going sufering from FaceBlock/Twatter withdrawal symptoms. She made her parents life a mysery on Friday/Sat. By Sunday she'd calmed down and actually started to play a part in the family once again. Her parents left on Monday with smiles on their faces.

These things are just as addictive as any drug. It is a shame that far too few people and esepcially parent realise this.

Don't ask where this delightful pub is as I'm not telling. Besides, they are full every weekend from now to October.

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Re: A plague on all of them

I empathise with your dislike of modern wireless technology, but I bet some people said similar things about areas with unpaved roads in t'olden days.

Lack of a wireless signal is an infrastructure issue that will presumably be solved eventually, and I for one don't presume to make value judgements about whether sitting in a pub without a mobile is a better or worse use of time than sitting in a pub (or indeed at home, or elsewhere) with a mobile.

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Re: A plague on all of them

Oh dear, as the above poster said you are just stigmatising a new technology.

Various things have been on the brink of destroying "the good old days" and general social skills, to name just a few:

1) The Walkman

2) The Gameboy and handheld games machines

3) Computer games

4) TV in general

5) Text messaging

And thats just from my youth.

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Meh

Re: A plague on all of them

Interesting phenomenon, isn't it? I live out in the country...our only internet access is via a wireless ISP...it's fairly reliable but when it goes down, tends to take a day or so to come back reliably.

But you'd think the world was coming to an end with the teenaged girl in the house. The boys, not so much.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A plague on all of them

Bullshit. Let's see that teenage girl take her parents where she likes to hang out, for 3 days, and deny them access to any form of grown-up idle pursuit. Let's see how they like it. Then we can go on about how people in their 40s are addicted to reading newspapers and talking shit about politics. All the while ignoring the truth, which is that people like to relax in their own age-appropriate way, and have these things called habits, which only look like drug addiction if you have absolutely zero experience of drug addiction.

PS: Irony meter is on overload that all this happened at a place that is best known for serving an addictive drug.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A plague on all of them

I recently stayed in an expensive hotel in Amsterdam.

I complained about the lack of free wifi in the hotel (considering how much I was paying for the room) and was told that all hotels charge for it.

Every single bar (and I mean every) that I went to provided free wifi for their patrons, yet the supposedly classy hotels couldn't be arsed.

Needless to say I spent no money on hotel wifi and a lot of time in bars!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A plague on all of them

And (in no particular order):

. Printing press

. Bible in English

. "Rock" music

. Roads

. Railways

. Street music

Life goes on.

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Joke

Re: "the good old days"

The printing press is killing conversation!

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Re: A plague on all of them

What an awesome place. I wish more people, including the socially maladjusted rejects that inhabit this place, like GeorgeDuk would spend some time there. But being cut off from his "friends" haircut pictures would devastate him far too much.

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Mushroom

Re: A plague on all of them

Not just technology either

Swing, Jazz, Rock, Rap all various forms of devil music to different generations.

The internet in general for over a decade now is constantly predicted as the end of social interaction between humans....

And regarding the above's post about addicts...

Heroine, alcohol, cigarettes and similar drugs have a definitive affect on the body... if you have been addicted to even cigarettes you understand this. Everything else, Music, games, gambling, internet, facebook etc. are NOT addictive. They may be fun, they may inspire addictive natures in people, but they don't chemically affect your body like an addiction does. Someone who has problems with facebook now, had problems with TV back then and will have problems with the next fun cheap entertainment also.. its the person not having the sense to set reasonable self control on themselves, not addiction that causes this. The moniker of addiction seems to give excuse to this behavior as if they just can't control themselves, when the truth is they just choose not to. Its high time everyone stop promoting this lie and hold people to more self control and responsibility. You wanna see addiction, go to a restroom in a bad part of the city and see people performing sex acts for $10 just to get a drug fix....That's addiction. Spent 10 hours on Facebook or video game yesterday.... that's you being a poor human being and a lazy ass.

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Re: A plague on all of them

My grandfather got beaten by his parents because he would sneak into town to listen to the street musicians sing blues.

So everything old is new again, except the beatings.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A plague on all of them

but TV has destroyed society...

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Re: A plague on all of them

I cannot agree more. I have walked out on more than one evening when people are answering their phones all the time.

Last week I was in a lovely country pub and an attractive couple were there for the evening having a meal etc. I did not see them talk to each other more than once or twice very briefly. Almost all the time, including when eating the meal, they were on or staring at their phones. I cannot help but feel that at least one of them had their priorities wrong.

In a way I rather hope that they had just had a huge argument.

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Re: A plague on all of them

@Ridley,

We noticed in our friend circle that we were constantly reaching for our phones to settle discussions by searching for a topic. IMDB here, wiki there, normal search engine queries, looking for photos of this car or that... As fast as we got the answer and "settled" the matter, it still was a regular 30+ second interruption to our evening repeated multiple times. It is funny now, we never agreed to do it, but somehow we all independently came to the conclusion to never pull out our phones. During the transition period, one of us might have pulled out the phone, then thought better of it, and put it back in the pocket before unlocking the screen. Conversation now runs more smoothly as it did before we all began toting smartphones.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "the good old days"

Err, no. Try to follow the thread.

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So the unprofitable users are leaving

The kids, being kids, are all fluttering off to the next fashionable location. Does that really matter? they don't have much in the way of disposable incomes, anyway.

> An older Facebook demographic ... an audience with deep pockets,... consuming content and completing transactions

and that's where the money lies. I once read an article about tourism from the tourist manager of a large provincial town. The view there was that it's far better to have 1 visitor who spends £1,000 than to have 1,000 visitors who spend £1 each. Maybe if FB takes, or is forced down, that route it wouldn't be such a bad thing for them.

However, if I was Mr. FB I'd hardly be worrying. So long as the share price holds up until I can cash-out that's all that matters. After that no doubt he'll stand down so he can spend more time with his money and maybe (follow Gates) into doing some good, or colonising outer space, or buying a presidency or two - either for himself, or his friends.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So the unprofitable users are leaving

He may try and aspire to be like Steve Jobs* - to build a company with a long term future, not just to set something up, get to IPO and then sit on the beach.

* from his biography, it could be all spin but I can't really comment on that

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Re: So the unprofitable users are leaving

> build a company with a long term future,

Yes, that's an other option. However, historically web-based businesses don't have a very long shelf-life, unlike well run "proper" businesses with tangible products. So if a major FB shareholder suddenly developed a philanthropic bent (or just felt the need for redemption), then IPO-ing, and cashing in his/her chips to go off and do good works seems to be the way forward.

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Re: So the unprofitable users are leaving

Those leaving are unprofitable *now*. In a few years some of those may be quite profitable, and if they are elsewhere and their needs are being attended to they aren't going to spend money on / through FB.

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Re: So the unprofitable users are leaving

The kids, being kids, are all fluttering off to the next fashionable location. Does that really matter? they don't have much in the way of disposable incomes, anyway.

I work full time and don't have much of a disposable income either...

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Pint

Kids eh?

Just wait until telekinesis 1.0 comes along.

What am I thinking about?

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What am I thinking about?

Telepathy?

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Headmaster

Re: Kids eh?

You're thinking about *telepathy* :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kids eh?

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my right hand.

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You've nailed it!

I'm 25, and was included in the first group of FB users back in 04. I've adjusted to the constant changes Facebook has thrown at me, and was a fairly engaged user until recently.

About a year ago I started noticing my FB wall/timeline/whatever was turning into a constant stream of baby images, ultrasound pics, wedding posts, buying that first house, and general crap that has nothing to do with my 'friends'. It was literally 60% posts about babies/children, and 40% about being engaged/married/in love. Not that I have an issue - I'm married too, but didn't feel the need to share every last detail of my relationship on there.

This whole parents effect, and all the over sharing associated with it, has caused me to leave Facebook for good, and I've a number of friends who have either done so or are thinking of doing the same. It's not that I am anti-Facebook, it's that Facebook has lost its usefulness for me.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: You've nailed it!

I'm exactly the same (apart from being 41), shuttered it because of this and numerous other reasons (join us on FB, blah, blah).. :(

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