If you are a social marketer still citing Facebook as a hangout for teenagers, it’s time to get a grip on reality. A new analysis shows that millions of teenagers have abandoned that now-venerable social watering hole over the last few years.
The stats, from Washington, D.C.-based digital agency iStrategyLabs, found that about 3.3 million teens aged 13 to 17 left Facebook from January 2011 to this month, a negative growth for that demo of -25.3 percent over three years. Another 3.4 million in the 18-to-24 group (some of whom had obviously been teenagers in previous years) similarly decided they had better things to do, for a 7.5 percent drop.
The stats are based on iStrategyLab’s analysis of the Facebook Social Advertising platform.
But the older folks are settling in. The growth rate over the same period for those aged 25 to 34 was 32.6 percent and 41.4 percent for 35-to-54 year olds. And for the near-seniors and seniors, those 55 and older, it was a whopping 80.4 percent.
A sample teen
To test these stats against a ground-level perspective, we unscientifically turned to one of the teens in our household, who shall remain nameless in the event that her friends are reading this.
Teen, who is 17, said she rarely posts on Facebook anymore but reads others’ postings, since she and most of her friends “mostly post on Twitter and Instagram.” Her friends talk to each other mostly through iMessage or texting.
“Facebook has gotten old,” Teen said, but she then revealed that she didn’t only mean it had gotten old hat. “People probably don’t post as much there because there are more older people.”
Then Teen pointed out what the lopsided increase in Older Folks on Facebook only implies. “People,” she said, referring to herself and her buds, “don’t want to be friends with their parents.”