An ongoing international study into how Facebook’s usage patterns have been changing seems to show that the social network is currently on its way to join Myspace in terms of relevance. At least one of the people involved with the study feels that Facebook is dying out particularly because it has lost appeal with teenagers who are now flocking towards Twitter and Instagram for their networking.
The Global Social Media Impact study is looking at quite a few aspects of social networking, but the impact that teens are having on Facebook is of particular interest to the study’s authors.
People think that social network sites such as Facebook are just the latest extension of the Internet…We show that in most important respects, Facebook is better understood as the very opposite of the Internet. The internet fostered specialist groups, Facebook brings groups into the same space. – Global Social Media Impact
Not only are teens leaving Facebook in droves, but their reason for doing so may at least partly be because of their parents. When Facebook was only targeting college-age kids, the network was able to grow and attract people of the same generation but now that everyone from 13 year-olds to grandparents are on the network, teens no longer want to be connected to it.
Mostly they feel embarrassed to even be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives. Teens do not care that alternative services are less functional and sophisticated, and they also unconcerned about how information about them is being used commercially or as part of surveillance practice by the security services, the research found. – Daniel Miller, GMIS lead anthropologist
There are far fewer parents and grandparents who are using services like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. As a result, teenagers have found those to be more suitable than Facebook even if they do not provide as many features. Now that Facebook has grown into it a service meant for everyone, it seems like the group that made the network popular no longer has interest in it.
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