IF YOU thought being on Facebook was pretty cutting edge in terms of your social media portfolio, then think again. You’re more than likely lagging behind your teenage children when it comes to social media.
Facebook has confirmed that the number of teenagers using it is declining because they are migrating to free messenger apps. One of the main reasons they’re not using Facebook as much is also down to the social network’s popularity among parents and grandparents. It really doesn’t look very cool to be on the same social network as your parents. It’s akin to your parents liking the same music as you. A major no-no in teenage land.
Facebook reportedly even put in a bid of $3bn to buy Snapchat, the photo sharing app, but the offer was rejected. Just like Facebook buying Instagram for $1bn last year, the company’s thinking is that if you can’t beat them, join them. And they are certainly beating them. The numbers using Snapchat are increasing, with ‘daily snaps’ increasing from 200m to 350m between June and September, 2013.
Teenagers are still using Facebook but it seems they aren’t using it as much. The younger generation is switching to free messenger apps which are easily downloadable on their smartphones and, best of all, their parents aren’t all over these apps. It’s their digital thing without parental intrusion.
The era of the selfie has come into its own with these messenger apps because they allow you to take pictures of yourself and send them on.
While Aisling Quinn from Skibbereen hasn’t abandoned Facebook just yet, the Junior Cert student does prefer using Snapchat on her mobile phone.
“All my friends are on Snapchat and it’s great fun sending pictures to each other with funny captions attached to them. These pictures last just 10 seconds but you can save the screenshot and then you can keep the picture if you want.”
Having her parents on Facebook was a dilemma for 16-year-old Katy Mason, but she blocked them, a measure she says they weren’t too happy about.
“While I still use Facebook I tend to spend more time on messenger apps like Snapchat, Kik and Twitter. Snapchat is great for sending pictures and I use Twitter a lot and follow my friends on it.”
Chloe Griffin also uses the same messenger apps as Katy and also has issues about her parents being on Facebook.
“Both my parents are on Facebook too and I’m friends with my dad on it.
“The one thing I would say about Snapchat is that it can get a bit boring as you are just taking pictures and that’s about it. What’s great about these messenger apps is that they are free and that’s why teenagers are using them, I wouldn’t use one if I had to pay for it.”
Never mind parents being on Facebook, how about grandparents? Aoibhinn Sexton has to contend with both her parents and grandparents presence on the social network site. She says it hasn’t been a problem so far.
“While I’m on Facebook and I don’t mind my parents being on it I am using it way less now. I’ve even deleted my profile a few times but have gone back to it and a few of my friends never use it anymore. I would definitely be more a fan of Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
“If I am on Facebook I normally use it just to share links on my page.”
The demise of Facebook usage among teenagers may be premature just yet, but messenger apps seem to be the way forward because they are free and chances are that parents haven’t migrated to these apps just yet.
Goodbye facebook, hello snapchat
Photo sharing device that allows you to chat with friends through pictures, video and captions 250-300 million snaps a day. Photos self-destruct automatically once you send them.
Cross platform mobile messaging app that allows you to exchange messages without paying for SMS.
Allows user to send messages as well as images. Handles more than 10 billion messages a day.
Free mobile texting app. Allows you to share fun videos, sketches and pictures. Close to 80 million users use this.
Chinese app with over 250m users. Allows video calls. Famous for their emoticon function.
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