Teen Twitter Use Rises While Facebook Use Drops

social mediaThe data is in, and American teens have spoken – Twitter is more important to them than Facebook. According to the most recent semi-annual report by Piper Jaffray, teens prefer Twitter to Facebook, but Instagram is beginning to rise in popularity, too. With Facebook’s popularity dwindling, many are wondering if Facebook is the new MySpace; however, the numbers do show that teens are still active on Facebook. For brands that target teens, this means that marketing on Twitter and reaching out to the younger demographic is more important than ever.

The Data

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The data from Piper Jaffray shows that for the first time since the report was launched, teens in the U.S. consider Twitter to be more important than Facebook. 26% of teens named Twitter as most important, with Facebook at 23% (down from last year’s 42%) and Instagram also at 23%, despite its newness to the social media world. Importantly for brands, Mashable notes that teens consider Twitter to be the best social network for shopping online.

Despite its spot as number one, Twitter’s popularity is still down by 4% from the last report in spring 2013. Also bad for Twitter is the fact that a recent Pew report showed that 94% of teens actually have Facebook profiles compared to just 25% having Twitter accounts. Furthermore, Facebook owns Instagram, which has nearly doubled in popularity amongst teens (17% named it as most important in spring 2013 compared to 23% in fall 2013).

Is Facebook the New MySpace?

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While the numbers show a complicated picture of teen social media use, the fact that teens rank Facebook lower in importance shows a shift similar to the trajectory of MySpace. Of course, we all know the tragic story of how MySpace almost instantaneously dropped from being the most widely used social network in the world to something unequivocally “uncool.” Is Facebook destined for this path? CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes not. Zuckerberg emphasizes the rising popularity of Instagram amongst teens; however, it is possible that teens consider Facebook and Instagram to be completely separate entities, at least in terms of use.

What This Means for Brands

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Whether or not Facebook is becoming the next MySpace, the data doesn’t lie – teens consider Twitter the most important social network in their lives, and brands that target teens should take advantage of this information. If the tweet above is any indication, it seems that teen users view Facebook as boring. To appeal to teens on Twitter, brands need to post exciting, unique content that teens are likely to share and continue to seek more of.

How does your brand successfully market to teens on social media?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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