A recent study has concluded that teens are not “down” with Facebook anymore when it comes to influencing their spending habits. 26% of teens surveyed stated they go to Twitter more to find out what they should spend their money on, as opposed to 23% who said they find out “what’s hot” via Facebook.
At first glance, the numbers aren’t far enough apart to declare Twitter the winner of teenagers’ pockets PayPal accounts, but over the years this study has been run, Facebook’s popularity among teens when it comes to spending has dropped from a once commanding 42%.
So what does this mean? Is it a stretch to say since Facebook doesn’t influence teens’ spending as much as it used to, it indicates that Facebook is losing its shine overall?
Probably not. I’m sure out of the Billions (with a B) of people on Facebook, I’m positive that most of them are teenagers that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Case in point, according to the Pew Research Center Teens, Social Media, and Privacy Study, it states that, “The typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers.” But it could mean that Facebook is growing into something more than just a cool site to find out what’s going on with friends and classmates. Entire businesses (and your Mom) are staking claim to property on Facebook.
That has forced Facebook to be more welcoming of all its users, some of which are paying big bucks to be there, or sniffing around their kids’ [virtual] diaries. That in and of itself could be a turn off for teenage Facebook users, especially since Facebook was built specifically for late teens and early college kids (and not your Mom or some business).
So it’s understandable that teenagers are now starting to spread out their influence across multiple networks. In my opinion, it’s natural for teens to set up shop on sites like Twitter, which are primarily mobile app-based, faster-paced, and take less time to interact with other users.
That doesn’t mean Twitter can sit back and wait for the “youths” to come rolling in. Both Twitter (parent company of Vine) and Facebook (who bought Instagram) are looking to keep their young audience by offering social networks that cater to the short-attention span afflicted youth who aren’t interested in a one-stop shop social networking site with a bunch of features that caters to everybody.
Facebook made a good move in spending a huge amount of cash on Instagram. But Zuckerberg better be careful – The more features and ads that pop up on Instagram to make it more profitable sophisticated, the less “cool” it too could become. If teens have taught Facebook anything, it’s that they have short attention spans and no loyalties — and they will move “on to the next” faster than you can say, “Parents should have the right to monitor their kids’ Instagram accounts.”