Facebook no longer teens' favorite online hangout

They're quickly moving to Twitter. But Mark Zuckerberg can take comfort in the fact that Instagram is still red-hot.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 24, 2013 5:53PM
Credit: © FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
Caption: Twitter websiteBy Jim Edwards, Business Insider

Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the social media network that is most important to teens, according to PiperJaffray's semi-annual teen market research report.

Twitter is the new king of teens, with 26% naming it as their "most important" social site. Only 23% said Facebook was most important, down from a high of 42%.

But Twitter should not become complacent, the report suggests. That's because Instagram has rocketed in popularity with teens. Some 23% said Facebook-owned Instagram was their No.1 choice, up from 12% a year ago.

The stats dovetail with a Pew report. Here's Pew's money quote from a 14-year-old girl:

“I got mine [Facebook account] around sixth grade. And I was really obsessed with it for a while. Then towards eighth grade, I kind of just -- once you get into Twitter, if you make a Twitter and an Instagram, then you'll just kind of forget about Facebook, is what I did.”

The maneuvering suggests Facebook was right to acquire Instagram as a backstop against losing younger users to competing, simpler networks.

The reports are a contrast, but not a contradiction to, Facebook's own statements on teen users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has twice spoken publicly recently about whether teens are abandoning Facebook. In September, Zuckerberg said "coolness is done for us."

Previously, on his Q2 earnings call, Zuckerberg said that Facebook's own research shows that teens are not abandoning the site.

Facebook has, frustratingly, declined to share that research -- even though investors would salivate over it.

Two different sources inside Facebook tell Business Insider that there is a difference between what teens say about Facebook and how they actually use it. Sure, Facebook might be uncool -- your mom is on it, after all -- but it's such a ubiquitous tool, and teens have huge social networks on it. "The typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers," Pew says.

Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.

More from Business Insider
Oct 24, 2013 6:43PM
here's hoping they destroy each other
Oct 24, 2013 6:33PM
Who cares? I don't use either thank goodness. Just a waist of time.
Oct 24, 2013 7:26PM
Facebook: One level below reality TV.
Oct 24, 2013 6:45PM
Facebook is on the decline and will soon hit bottom. Zuckerberg better sell his stock and get out while the getting is good.
Oct 24, 2013 7:41PM

Quick question for teens with 300 Facebook friends --- "How many of these friends would lend you $20?  $10?  $5?  How about a quarter?



Oct 24, 2013 7:10PM
None of these trendy sites will last.  There was myspace,  and then.................and then...............and then................
Oct 24, 2013 7:27PM
It is simply a venue for people with nothing better to do, to show off and make all of their fake fb friends think they lead a wonderful perfect life.  It is simply a waste of time.  Especially those whom document their every moment of their day.  Wow, it is amazing to me that people actually have the gall to document their location and have people actually "like" it....All I can say is "wow" for our society.  Besides who really has 500 close friends.... 
Oct 24, 2013 7:22PM
While it may be on the decline with teens, it's getting more and more popular with seniors! Facebook is the perfect medium for us "old folks" to stay in touch, share pictures of the grandkids etc.
Oct 24, 2013 6:51PM
I have absolutely no use for social media. Though, I do have Facebook. Yeah, let me log in for the first time in almost two years. I doubt I even remember my password. 
Oct 24, 2013 8:31PM
Used facebook for about 2 years.. I'm done with it.. TIme consuming waste of time. I'd rather be outside.
Oct 24, 2013 7:38PM
Good!  Leave Facebook to the college students and the adults - which is what it started out as anyway!  I seem to recall that Facebook had an age restriction in place at one point (minimum 14 to create an account) yet I see the 12-year-old younger sibs of some of my friends with Facebook accounts...and not using them intelligently either.
Oct 24, 2013 7:13PM
Facebook is destined to follow the sites like Myspace, yahoo, prodigy. Anyone remember that one? They're like the teen pop idols that have grown up and disappeared.
Oct 24, 2013 8:26PM
I use facebook everyday. Guess what...I hope it dies too. The only reason I use it is because everyone I know is on it. But I still think it sucks. In fact, I think, outside of the horrible advertising, myspace was and is better- for entertainment. Facebook is so limited in customization (and not the cheesy type- think post responses limitied to a thumbs up). Security risk is another and add to that the fact that it's to large for its own good. There are so many great innovative websites out there and yet most people are still stuck using facebook. Like any product, I want something new. Facebook- I pray to God your days are numbered.
Oct 24, 2013 7:43PM
Facebook broke apart with it's constant wasteful updates, changes, privacy problems and blasted games everyone keeps sending people. Luckily i don't get them anymore, but it's still annoying!
Oct 24, 2013 9:06PM
Don't use it or twatter or link not any of that $hit, don't own a cell either and never will. Worst invention of the 20th century.
Oct 24, 2013 8:08PM
Twitter….conversation by sound bite….not for me.
Oct 24, 2013 7:16PM
That is right the old farts like me are giving the suckers the boot.
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