The Youth and Social Media
The youth (shall we say under 25), make up a large portion of active social media users are often the trend setters.
Where are the youth at the moment? What portion of social of the social media pie belongs to this segment and is there any marked trends in the movement of this group of people? Are they leaving Facebook? Where are they going?
Teens and Twitter
In Piper Jaffray’s 25th Semi-Annual teen research project, 30% of the 5000 teens interviewed named Twitter as their most important social network. The trends favour Twitter as it is keeps building its popularity.
Compared to 2012, Twitter’s popularity has grown by 3% according to these votes, which are taken as a leading indicator of future trends. A recent poll amongst young Japanese social media users has showed that Twitter is their most popular social network by far, with many not even having tried Facebook. This is not surprising as Japan set a record with 25 088 tweets per second in 2011 during a television screening of a movie.
Facebook and the youth
86% of the 18 0 29 year old age group demographic is claimed by Facebook as the most popular social networking site. However, Facebook themselves have said that they have experienced reduced activity in favour of other products and services.
The benefit of these other services is that they communicate more in SMS-style rather than being centred around status updates such as Facebook and Twitter. It seems that for teens, there are new social media options on a daily basis. Teens have recently shown increased interest in a few other social media platforms as a means of finding alternatives to Facebook. Let’s take a quick look at those.
The first is called Habbo Hotel and is a social networking site from Finland. It’s a game aimed at teens and kids to create a world in a hotel. The game starts by providing a user with a small room and an avatar which can be improved by earning points. The site has 25 million users.
The second alternative is quite familiar with most social media networkers. It’s a photo-sharing app called Instagram and has a wide variety of filters for use, causing its popularity with teens. The company was recently taken over by Facebook.
The third and last alternative we’ll look at today is called Tumblr and is also familiar to most. Half of this blogging site’s traffic is composed of users under the age of 25. It has 78 million blogs accessible on the site, with new ones starting everyday based on trends in memes or virtual sound bytes.
It seems like the only constant that one can be assured on when it comes to the youth and social media, is change. The youth feeds on change and are constantly looking for something more interesting or better than what is currently available.
While this is not a bad thing, it simply means that there are no guarantees that today’s trendsetters will still be seen the same way tomorrow.
Written by Marleen Theunissen