2 experts and 5 parents have answered
Funnily enough I was talking about this with my eldest two (12 and 11) last night. We were talking about my daughter's friends (she's young in the year so most of them are 13 already) and how she couldn't wait to be 13 so she could do certain things. I asked if she was still looking forward to joining Facebook and her exact words were: 'No. Boring. I don't think I'll bother.' I was quite surprised that she didn't want to AT ALL. For her, it's all about Instagram and I was even more surprised that my 11-year-old son said the same.
Some of his friends are already on it with locked accounts but I'm glad he respects that rules are rules and he's not allowed to join yet.
I think the younger a Facebook user is, the more they use it as a means of communicating with family, and as a platform to log in quickly to other networks where they want to spend their time.
My daughter has joined SnapKidz and is bored out of her mind with it, which seems to have put her off using SnapChat proper. Which is GREAT news!
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Yup, that's right. And let's face it.. what would a 13 years old do on facebook anyway? Play Zynga? That's all history!
They don't have tens or hundreds of friends from other life to connect or keep in touch with. They just care about sharing pictures of themselves in different "funny" situations. Pictures make everything so much more appealing to them.
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I'd describe Facebook as a network at war with their (smart) users, the issues with SocialFixer make that perfectly clear.
Did anyone WANT the new feed etc. etc. Ask anyone WHAT they want, and it's a better response to malware apps that take far too long to clear, and a feed control that does NOT reward those who game the system.
Those posts that invite you to like if you agree / comment if you don't - gaming the system to build "edgerank".
I hope the Facebook fade accelerates, until they change the design and change the management - if my friends were on two systems, and one wasn't Facebook - GOODBYE and good riddance to Facebook.
What would replace it though, as Facebook benefited from the slide away from Myspace, who stands to win from their discomfort? For teens, those based in the mobile to mobile area are strong contenders.
For others, is GooglePlus "out of the frying pan and into the fire", since the Google empire does love data gathering.
Will Diaspora ever hit the big time, or Friendica. Actually, the "pod based" networks remind me a bit of Fidonet, there was a larger entity that was the whole network, but firstly, you were a member of one particular host, and if you didn't like the coverage / attitude / management of one, you could move to another.
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That's certainly a good enough reason for Facebook to worry.
Possible reasons of this drop could be :-
Teens are apparently looking for more private platforms to share their info.
As moms and dads stream to Facebook, teens are increasingly becoming uncomfortable sharing photos or even planning a meet up.
Gaining popularity of Instagram & Snapchat as mentioned by Laura.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2013/11/12/heres-where-teens-are-going-instead-of-facebook/ This is an interesting and insightful article explaining where teens are going instead of Facebook.
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Teens are all about expressing their own individuality. Being faced with the same old bog standard white and blue layout and design (not too different to the corporate identities of financial institutions) is utterly uninspiring, imagine how a teen feels about the environment. Teens should have the option to be able to customize their pages much in the same way as on Tumblr or the likes. I think Facebook is missing the valuable and highly important link between technology and aesthetics to bring their platform in line with an image obsessed world.
Whilst adult users took some time to search for and catch up with old school friends, university friends, and colleagues, the same need does not exist among teenage users since they grew up in online communities. Facebook should recognize that although the need for connection among Teens will always be there, they connect and utilise social media in a different way to adults. Perhaps if Facebook recognises the need for a shift such as Skype did with their Skype in the Classroom, the site would be gaining Teen users again.
I do not necessarily agree with Jessy's observation:
_" . . . what would a 13 years old do on facebook anyway? . . . They don't have tens or hundreds of friends from other life to connect or keep in touch with." _
While this might be true for a few it is not the case for many. We are raising 2 expat children who straddled 6 countries over the past 10 years, not to mention that they have traveled to about 34 others. They have a massive need to stay connected with their friends (not networks, but really good friends) and all of them connect firstly via Facebook as they also belong to School FB Pages.
Expatriate children otherwise referred to as TCK's utilise social media quite differently to local kids. To quote from one of my own papers regarding the Middle East:
TCK’s in Dubai not only use media for entertainment, networking, connectivity and education, but remarkably also for current affairs and expressing opinion, positioning them firmly on the global map. _TCK’s portray very strong levels of media and news literacy, socially as well as in the classroom. Neigh in Gray-Block (2003, p1) makes a profound statement about the lives and experiences of TCK’s: “The benefits for children include their development of a three-dimensional view of the world in which media images of different countries carry greater depth. TCK’s have a tangible link to such images and a greater sensitivity to the world in which they live.” _
We all know the massive role Facebook played during the Arab Spring and it includes Teen users!
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I'm doing a Web Science course with Southampton University, via the Futurelearn.com site at present and it's been utterly brilliant so far, really making me think differently about the web and the internet.
This link arose from that course and might give some academic insight into the question: -
From that page: -
"The ‘Fall of Facebook’ seems an odd title given this is a social media platform that continues to expand worldwide. Yet there is no doubt that we can and should be commenting on its demise at least for some. This month my focus has been on the sixth formers, that is 16-18 year olds at schools in The Glades, our UK fieldsite. For this group Facebook is not just falling, it is basically dead, finished, kaput, over. It is about the least cool thing you could be associated with on the planet. It has been replaced by a combination of four media, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp."
For anyone interested in our online world, I highly recommend this course, it's not overly academic or difficult, it's aimed at everyone, of all abilities and ages (I think 14 - 68 is the age range I've experienced thus far) and it really does give insight and food for thought, for about 3 hours of your time per week.
Like most things you get out of them what you put in.
Most of the courses seem to repeat so check out https://www.futurelearn.com/ for more information.