Teens are Ditching Facebook for These 5 Social Networks

J.P. Hicks
Blog Tips

What teenager wants their parents, aunts and uncles, teachers or coaches to know everything about them from social media?

Facebook is still by far the most popular social network in the world, but it is losing perhaps its most important segment of users -- teens.

Baret Steed, 15, recently told Time her reason for leaving Facebook: “All your relatives are constantly commenting on your stuff. I appreciate the gesture and wanting to keep up with my life, but it’s kind of annoying.”

Steed was part of a survey with 40 of her classmates. "Only eight of the students listed Facebook as their most-used social network. For eleven of them, it didn’t rank in the top three," Time reported.

It's not just teenagers who find the overly diverse group of "friends" to be a dilemma. I disabled my personal Facebook account over two years ago for similar reasons. On one hand I had friends from high school reminiscing about our jackassery, and on the other hand I had multi-million-dollar business associates as friends. It just didn't work for me.

Like most teenagers, Steed still spends several hours a day communicating with her friends on the Internet, but she prefers other social networks over Facebook. Teenagers are looking for fun, useful, and hip (not cool with parents) social networks and they're turning to some interesting websites.

Top social networks that teens are ditching Facebook for:

1.Tumblr: According to the unscientific survey reported by Time, Instagram was "by far the most popular." But a more scientific survey of 1038 young people showed that Tumblr was most popular among teens and twenty-somethings, even beating out Facebook as the most used social network.
Favorite social networks for teens: Survey results from January 2013
Tumblr is an image-heavy microblogging platform with social networking for friends and reblogging other people's cool stuff. Steed told Time that she and her friends prefer Tumblr to Facebook because "The reason we like it so much is because not everyone has one." And she added "you can almost disguise yourself."

Another reason young people like it is they can make money with their Tumblr page. Instead of Facebook benefiting from all of their fresh content, now they can benefit from the adds on their Tumblr page. No wonder a whopping 61% of teens spend more time there than on Facebook.

2. Instagram: Instagram is a technically a photo-sharing app with a social networking community where users can instantly share digital photos with all their friends at most major social networks, or a single friend, through their mobile phones. According to the company's website, they claim 100 million monthly active users.  A figure they said is growing at around 10% a month.

Instagram came in with 21% of teenagers saying it was their new favorite:

Facebook doesn't exactly lose here because they own Instagram.

3. Twitter: Twitter's microblogging platform has always been popular, but teens seem to be driving some of it's recent growth. Growing up in a fast-food, celebrity-obsessed world, Twitter offers instant gossip, and quick communications and sharing with friends --all easily done from a smartphone. The January survey showed Twitter narrowly beating out Instagram among teens, 22% to 21%.  Even though Google+ surpassed Twitter for active monthly users, Twitter remains third among teens and it's still the fastest growing social network in the world according to Global Web Index:

Global Web Index Q4- 2012
Global Web Index, in their Q4-2012 report, said "The fastest growing network in 2013 in terms of “Active Usage” (defined as “Used or contributed to in the past month”) was Twitter which grew 40% to 288m across our 31 markets (approximately 90% of global internet population). 21% of the global internet population now use Twitter actively on a monthly basis."

4. Snapchat: Is a free photo-messaging App with a social community that allows users to snap and send an image with text to a friend. According to Time, Snapchat is "shuttling 60 million images a day" or 1.8 billion per month. Here's a quick video about this image chat service:

The survey said that 13 percent of teens spend most of their time on Snapchat, tripling the percentage of those in their early twenties.

5. Pheed: Pheed is similar to Snapchat and Instagram in that it's an App with a social network component. What separates it from the others is that it includes instant mulitmedia posting and sharing of texts, photos, videos, audio, and voice broadcasting. Want to send a song to someone for immediate enjoyment to remember a special occasion? With Pheed you can do it. Pheed recently became the most downloaded social app at app stores. Forbes calls Pheed the new Twitter.

Here's a video saying why Pheed may be the next big thing:

Time reported that Pheed added a million new users in February because teens can't stop raving about it.

So, if you're a teen who's looking to stay hip, these are where you need to be. And if you're a social marketing person looking to attract teens to your business, now you know where to find them.

J.P. Hicks is an entrepreneur, pro blogger, editor of BlogTips.com and author of Secrets to Making Money with a Free Blog. Follow @ Twitter, or like on Facebook.

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