Remember, just six months ago, when a couple of studies said Facebook’s teen user base was fleeing? Well, that might not be the case after all.
In a Forrester Research study released Tuesday, teens overwhelmingly came out in support of Facebook. Forrester talked to a little over 4,500 kids ages 12 to 17. Of those, over three-quarters said they use Facebook at least once a month, and a third said they use the site “all the time.”
That seems like a lot, but what does it look like compared to, say, messenger app WhatsApp? Even if you combined WhatsApp and Instagram usage, Facebook would still come out on top, the study shows. Less than a quarter of the sample set reported using WhatsApp more than once a month, though Instagram came close to reaching Facebook’s popularity. Half of the kids surveyed reported using the picture-sharing service more than once a month.
Overall, the kids agree: They use Facebook more than any other mobile app.
In early December a European-Union funded study found that teens were abandoning Facebook in “droves.” In January, yet another study appeared saying that Facebook had lost 3.3 million teens since 2011. But Facebook’s dip in teen followers is normal turnover, says Nate Elliott, an analyst at Forrester and one of the authors of the current study.
“Every site experiences churn, and Facebook is no exception,” writes Elliott. “But just as many young users say they’ve increased the time they spend on Facebook as say they’ve decreased usage.”
It’s possible that increased mobile use among teens is giving Facebook a needed boost among younger-users — but in order to recapture its cool cachet the company will have to figure out a way to stop moms and dads from posting on your wall.