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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  1. lurker

    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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          *minor* celebrities

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: *minor* celebrities

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

            Sent from my twitpic

          2. Chris Parsons
            Windows

            Re: *minor* celebrities

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

        2. Alpha Tony

          Re: Anecdotal

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

        3. Paul L Daniels
          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.

      2. BorkedAgain
        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...

      3. Tom 13

        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. Don Mitchell

      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".

  3. martin burns
    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...

    1. Silverburn
      Happy

      Re: Not really thinking, are they?

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

      Nope. That's a new one on me.

      1. Alan Bourke

        Re: Not really thinking, are they?

        So unfair I HATE YOU

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. Dunstan Vavasour

      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

    4. Keep Refrigerated
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        The hipster category.

    5. Fibbles

      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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Ginger
      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?

      1. Tom 13

        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.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Down

      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.

    2. GeorgeTuk

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. The Original Cactus
        Joke

        Re: "the good old days"

        The printing press is killing conversation!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "the good old days"

          Err, no. Try to follow the thread.

      3. Rob Dobs
        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.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A plague on all of them

        but TV has destroyed society...

    3. W.O.Frobozz
      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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      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!

    6. Jeebus

      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.

    7. Armando 123

      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.

    8. ridley

      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.

      1. multipharious

        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.

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        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.

    2. QuinnDexter

      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.

    3. jonathan1

      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...

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    Pint

    Kids eh?

    Just wait until telekinesis 1.0 comes along.

    What am I thinking about?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      What am I thinking about?

      Telepathy?

    2. Eddie Edwards
      Headmaster

      Re: Kids eh?

      You're thinking about *telepathy* :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kids eh?

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

  8. jgal

    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.

    1. Kevin Saunders
      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).. :(

    2. Peter Simpson 1
      FAIL

      Re: You've nailed it!

      My objections (aside from lack of granular control over who gets to see which of my posts) are the "just for you" ads that appear on the right side, for things I would not, in my wildest dreams, be interested in.

      //most annoying is "Free Pictures of Girls!"

      //always there, can't get rid of it

      1. Wanda Lust

        Re: You've nailed it!

        Get an adblock plugin for Firefox/Chrome: no ads, zero, zip. Presumably, you're not using IE or Safari.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You've nailed it!

        You mean that lack of granular control where you can exclude specific people or lists on everything you post now?

        I'm not even on Facebook any more, even I know that's in there :P

    3. JC 2

      Re: You've nailed it!

      but that's what happens in one's life, you're the same person and what's new is you're spending a lot of time on the new relationship or child. It's not that they "need" to share these things, rather they're doing the same thing as always, sharing what is on their mind at the moment.

    4. Smallbrainfield
      Pint

      Re: You've nailed it!

      I just stopped using it because it's fucking shit.

    5. atippey
      Devil

      Re: You've nailed it!

      Like everywhere else: your kids are cute, everybody else's are just f#@king irritating.

    6. Fibbles

      Re: You've nailed it!

      This is so very true. Also, to the new parents out there, whilst I'm sure you're very excited to spend your first Christmas with your offspring it is neither wanted nor necessary for you to share that excitement with everybody you know, everyday single day for the entire 4 months leading up to said event.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You've nailed it!

      I've been a facebooker since the old days (2003/04) when it was more of a university forum, but these days Facebook should be renamed as the bloody "Toddlerbook" because thats all people seem to post on it.

      Well done, you procreated and reproduced, populating an already overpopulated planet straining as it is for resources, and no doubt you bought the SUV to go with your new "bundle of joy". I don't go round your house demanding to see your photo albums, so what makes you think I would want to see it on the internets?

      That and your embarrassing relatives who go on it, you feel obliged that you have to accept their friend request, and then they proceed to spam the news feed with the biggest lot of nonsense you've ever seen in your life. Yet, if you set it to ignore them, the next time you see them they'll comment "did you not see <such and such> on my facebook?".

      Then the ones who feel sorry for themselves by posting obscure comments like "Well you know who friends are!" or "Not good", just begging for someone to reply to it asking "whats wrong" so they can then spill the beans with their boohoo / first-world-problem story about how someone was talking to their ex, or they had a fuse blow on the toaster.

      It really has became an ultra-Bebo full of the same handful of people posting the same nonsense. One would almost think it was a bot, so repetitive and constant is the silage thrown on the news feed.

      Twitter though is no better, from my brief usage of it it is full of narcissists who love nothing better than everyone hearing every detail of their mundane lives, unfunny pictures, and begging for an RT or reply from some D list "celeb".

      Guess I'll go back to blogging or foruming. Social networking fail.

  9. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

    Ad numbers

    $3.50 per ad *impression* seems an insane amount of money (hell, 50c seems like a lot). Can these numbers be verified?

    1. JJS
      Boffin

      Re: Ad numbers

      CPM actually means Cost Per Mille (aka Cost Per Thousand) impressions. So for every 1000 times the ad is seen, the advertiser pays $3.50 which yes, is quite a lot. I don't know what the going rate is today but I seem to recall something like 10 cents per mille was considered good for your typical blog.

      1. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

        Re: Ad numbers

        Aha, that explains it, thanks. It was the way it says "Cost per Impression" that misled me. I now see it does say CPM right next to it, at least.

  10. jubtastic1
    Holmes

    Live and don't learn

    Geocities, Friendster, MySpace, facebook, and on and on, each bigger and cooler than their predecessors, each of them struggling to capitalise on their millions of teenage users before they scoot off to the next big thing. Rats are deserting the ship Captain, better get the IPO out pronto.

    N.B. Not including twitter because it's more akin to AIM and MSN than a weblog, also continually amazed by Google's ability to screw up social when by all rights they should have won by default years ago.

  11. techfruit

    I don't think it's privacy (real of believed) that is turning younger users away from Facebook - it is the frictionless sharing which dominates almost everything you see on the site these days.

    All your friends do not share all your passions, tastes, political views, etc - and yet everything everyone reads/listens/watches is pushed in front of your eyes as if they were actively curating them. They aren't. Rather than a timeline full of messages to and from friends and invotes to parties, 90%+ of that timeline is now X read this or is listened to that - none of which anyone wants to know or really share.

    http://www.techfruit.com/2012/04/12/with-an-estimated-100-billion-ipo-facebook-will-not-be-a-place-for-friends/

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...becoming cool with the wrong sort of people: parents."

    Or that the people it was cool with when it launched, are now parents? If they were 15 in 2004, they're 23 now.

  13. the-it-slayer
    Megaphone

    Biggest fad of our time will die... eventually

    Again, I'm in my mid-20s and was part of the FB revo when it all kicked off. Originally, it was only dedicated to University students who wanted to share their activities, events, parties and communicate quickly within their inner circles. From what I remember, it was effective and didn't bother you with stupid applications that others had stupidly signed up to which were probably there to mine your data.

    I do agree with the "older" generation absolutely splattering their lives across FB. I'm very careful with what I post and honestly; I don't login and participate in it as often as I used to. Checking my feeds once in a while and communicating which a mass of people I know very well is helpful from time to time. But only recently, my mum was desperate to get into Facebook because it was the "in" thing and her other parent friends were splattering their lives on it. Luckily my mum is restricted in what she can do on her iPad and only uses it as a reference point to keep up with the family.

    IMHO... FB will die with MySpace and the others which barely seem to make any impact anymore. The only way it will survive would be segregate it, make it more effecient and target it specifically at different groups properly. It's just too overload with features to try and please everyone. Get rid of the Apps, Notes, Public Groups, Music and make it into a communicating machine like it once was. For me, twitter wins for its psedo-anon perspective where you don't need to tell all to participate. No naggy ex-friends, ex-gf's, ex-wives. Just lots of celebs you can perv over :).

    Also, I'd love to know how quickly those 800 million users are depleting in their usage and/or abandoned their account. It took 4 months to hit the last 100 million target, and now we're over 6 months with still no announcement of the next 100 million to 900 mil. I think it's reached its peak honestly.

  14. JC 2
    Devil

    Inevitable

    Facebook requires the attention span of a 2008 teenager but continued use of the internet and especially cell phone texting has devolved (or is that revolved? Your call, I wouldn't call it evolved.) youth to the point they have no more attention span than is needed to read a tweet.

  15. Eugene Crosser
    Boffin

    Privacy is about who do NOT watch you

    A side note is dropped in this article that is, I think, really important. The perceived privacy is not as much about who can see/listen what you do/say. It's more about who can't. Your average person rarely does/says anything really awkward. So, most of the time, [s]he does not care if strangers eavesdrop on them. Parents and teachers are another matter: must me much more careful about what to show and to say.

    Cue to social networks: "exemption" circles may become a popular thing.

  16. Irongut

    "because the parent crowd doesn't seem to be on it yet - at least, not in the same way as has happened with Facebook - teens feel like they have more privacy, even though their tweets are more public"

    If your Twitter feed is public your parents can monitor it without you even knowing. No need to accept a friend request. Stupid kids.

  17. Colin Ritchie
    Paris Hilton

    Facebook, tracebook.

    I think several things will put the younger users off Facebook eventually. Older, squarer folks getting in on it can't help. The fact that their parents are on can't be a plus either. Timeline pissed off many users I know and several of them are teens.

    Ultimately, a social network site that lets you post a long chronological list of potentially bad press for yourself in the years to come, may cause people to abandon it as they mature anyway.

    How long before Facebook is declared to be "Old and smells of wee."?

    Paris hasn't the attention span to keep Facebook going forever, why would we expect a generation who wants to emulate her to do so?

  18. S 11
    Coat

    Some are looking for metrics to prove or disprove the flight theory, but really I think that this article grounds itself it the fact that Facebook was once for college kids, and then became a haven for teenagers and fans of things that want to be, or are, Liked. Being popular is a group sport. We get it.

    Now that the college age kids are young parents, and the teenagers are now college kids, the under 13's are seeing that Facebook is NOT the most exciting platform ever. Twitter is what adults use, therefore I will use it.

    I think it would be hilarious if Facebook crashed in 12 months. I can see all the humans leaving, and only the fan sites for thinkgs liked remaining.

    Come on, Farmville? Even the time wasting section of the time wasting platform is a waste of time.

  19. Armando 123

    Ready to shutter

    I've been on both since ... early 2007, IIRC. With facebook I stay in contact with college friends. With twitter I've met drivers at the Indy 500, local athletes, networked for dog fostering, learned about new bands and new technologies.

    Guess which one I find more satisfying? (No offense to my college friends intended.)

  20. Luke McCarthy
    Unhappy

    Twitter leaves you wide open

    Careful not to post a joke about bombing and airport, you could get nicked.

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Twitter leaves you wide open

      Don't say anything on Twitter that you wouldn't put on a huge billboard next to a photo of your face. Never forget it's very, very public and act accordingly.

  21. John Ford
    FAIL

    Bloat

    Nobody has made the connection that the bloated mobile app for facebook (on android and IOS) isn't actually very good, and this may be contributing to user churn? It's why I prefer twitter, it actually bloody works most of the time.

    The problem with a lot of succesful sites is that they attract a shed load of money which they then feel compelled to spend on developers to add more whistles and bells that make the site less and less useable. Why have a simple hyperlink when a drop-down menu that scrolls off the page or freezes up the browser will do? See also Flickr, eBay, BBC sport and the desktop twitter client. Simplicity is underated.

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Bloat

      Very , very true.

    2. Andy Pullin

      Re: Bloat

      Defnitely, I binned the FB app yonks ago in favour of Friendcaster, which also uses a few kB of data for the same updates that the FB app uses nearly a MB for - big difference if you're on a restricted data plan.

      Not so clever on the photos bit of FB, but in a way that's no bad thing.

  22. Toadkiller
    Childcatcher

    No website for Old Men

    That's basically what youngsters want, remember when you were a kid it was always looking for what's new, what's different, all part of the growth process. Facebook? Been there, done that what else ya got Internet?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook is limiting...

    I don't have any personal accounts on social media because I simply don't trust them. However I do maintain two business accounts on both Twitter and Facebook. And quite frankly developments like these don't surprise me at all.

    IMO Facebook is only in it for the money without much else. For example; my Facebook account is only good to (try to) attract followers as well as pay up for their advertising service. I can't, for example, follow people or other companies myself. Or comment on certain events and such.

    Twitter? Now that's a whole different story. My company account is just like a regular account, I can maintain a profile, follow other people or companies and even actively comment thus also drawing some attention back to myself again.

    With that in mind it comes as no surprise to me that Facebook is losing its edge.

    '

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the concept is sound

    as illustrated by the South Park episode Chinpokomon way back in '99. Parents start learning how to engage in an activity which their kids enjoy.Then they begin to break down it's language barriers (poke me!) Finally you end up in a situation where the parents know more than the kids - where's the fun in that for the kids? So the activity becomes uncool and "totally gay" y'know, like in the non, like, pejorative sense of the word.

  25. Nanners

    Next...

    Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, twitter....next.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I don't know about you guys, but I just use IRC.

  27. Silverburn
    Mushroom

    Maybe there more to it than teenagers

    I for one, have slowed down on Facebook (and especially twitter) because increasingly plonkers keep posting cryptic response-bait posts like:

    "Down today."

    What is? The FTSE? Pressure? Was this your duvet choice? Frankly, even though I can probably work it out, I simply refuse to respond to shite like this. Whatever is down can stay down as far as I care.

  28. Nigel Brown
    Coat

    Good.

    The sooner they all piss off back to the 2013 equivalent of Bebo the better. I have a handfull of teenagers on my 'friends' list - family members and the offspring of some good friends, who are all there only out of politeness. I have had to set every single one of them so that I dont see any updates from them due to the sheer amount of drivel they post. Half of them seem incapable of using the private message function for a conversation, so you get a constant stream of teen-speak crap infesting your feed. Add to this the never-ending links to Youtube of some appalling R&B act or otherwise unknown 'pop star'.

    If they can take with them the adults who have to share every damn 'funny' picture they ever see then even better.

    Coat, mines the one with Victor Meldrew on the label.

  29. Securitymoose
    Pirate

    Twitter because the YOT can't concentrate for more than 160 characters?

    I was talking about this amongst m'colleagues and one of them cynically suggested that the young people these days only have an attention span of 160 characters so the chore of having to work out something to write in Facebook is too much for them, especially with the new Timeline thing - and what's all that about??? Watch out Facebook, the writing's on everybody's wall (if they can be bothered).

  30. Hooksie

    Fucking hate Twitter

    People on Facebook with 380 'friends', Twitter with everyone in the world able to read your moronic 160 character bullshit about what you've just seen on TV. I'm out.

    I use(d) Facebook to keep in touch with people on the other side of the world that I don't take the time to call or email and it's great for that. My missus on the other hand spends HOURS (AND HOURS) playing sodding CityVille and posting nonsense about animal rights and the latest PETA propaganda. I don't mind seeing pics of friend's babies and stuff, if I'm not interested I won't look.

    Guess what? I'm not the demographic. I would far rather comment on stupid articles on El Reg and hope that someone agrees with me now and again. Twitter can kiss my ass. It seems to me just to be a way of keeping tabs on celebrities. Oh, that and selling the last 6 years of your Tweets to advertisers.

  31. Silverburn

    Corps

    Yet another reason the yoof are leaving are the increasingly intrusive and entirely superficial nature of corporate on Facebook. Its the marketing department's latest wet dream.

    Forget giving anything back. It's all about the sell, the deep sell, the cross sell.

    Sometimes the yoof are cleverer than we give them credit for, if this is what they've spotted.

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