Are Teenagers Leaving Facebook?

Is this the beginning of the next big switch or just one of many ebbs and flows to come?

In the last couple of months the internet has been awash with reports of Facebook fatigue.  Despite reaching more than the 500 million user mark recently there does appear to be growing levels of dissatisfaction with the social networking giant.

It would appear teenagers might be leading the exodus.

This would not be the first time adolescents have abandoned a popular social media hangout. It was only a couple of years ago when Myspace dominated the teenage social space online. During 2009 Myspace saw a decline of over 25% while Facebook grew by nearly 90%.  It appears teens were a big part of the switch.

According to a recent study from OTX and virtual fashion site Roiworld, nearly 20% of teens with a Facebook profile had decreased or discontinued their use of the site as of April 2010. According to the report decreased usage by teens is attributable to teenager users being bored by the site.

Another recent study of 1000 teenagers conducted by YPulse found similar disenchantment levels with Facebook.

Their research as to why teens may be fleeing the site found 50 percent of girls were “tired of trying to keep up with all the activity” required of leading a demanding digital social life.  For males the issue appeared to be getting pulled and pushed in a different direction with 47 percent saying “most of my friends are using other sites now.”

Meanwhile the strategy of parents trying to befriend their kids on Facebook as a means of supervision is having an effect. 44% of teens surveyed blamed their parents for crashing the party, more than half of those surveyed had parents on Facebook.

The fickle nature of teenagers has been around as long as adolescence. The question is do these research findings suggest we should start looking for the next major online gathering forum, or will Facebook remain the primary gathering place, with increasing numbers of smaller expressions attracting pockets of the adolescent population here and there?

What are your thoughts?

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