Study suggests teens are fleeing Facebook and find it ‘dead and buried’
Few weeks ago, a blud told me how he’s trying to quit Facebook and after few days he was off the world’s largest social networking site by numbers. To be blunt, Facebook is rudimentary and very old fashioned and in my opinion nothing exquisite has been developed since 2010. A couple of mobile operators I cannot mention for legal reasons announced recently that they will start to offer Facebook access in multiple languages in Africa and they will start with their prepaid customers, free of charge but one wonders if there are no hidden charges. We all know Wikipedia access if offered data free by French Telkom giant Orange but still more than 80% of those who visit the site in Africa access through paid data platforms. According to the network operators, Facebook on their subscribers mobile phones using either the browser or downloaded app, will be able to view or upload photos, post status updates, comment and write on walls, and message contacts in selected languages. Therefore, it’s surprising that the same telecom companies have failed to note that teenagers feel uncool about Facebook and are migrating away from Facebook in favor of cooler services, according to a new study by European Union-funded research on global social networking trends that discovered that four platforms have toppled Facebook from the list of teens social media platforms namely Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
The researchers found that WhatsApp has overtaken Facebook as the number one way to send messages, while Snapchat has gained in popularity in recently by allowing users to send images which “self-destruct” after a short period on the recipient’s phone in order to maintain privacy and since then Snapchat has claimed that more than 350 million images are sent on a daily basis, and that could be the reason researchers found close pals use Snapchat to communicate, while WhatsApp was used with acquaintances and Twitter is used as medium of communication to anyone who chose to follow them. The comprehensive European study took 15 months to complete, and there was a team of researchers who compiled the 1,000 survey results used. In a paper on the results, the University College London material sciences professor Daniel Miller refers to Facebook as “dead and buried” to young people. “Young people are turning away in their droves and adopting other social networks instead, while the worst people of all, their parents, continue to use the service,” he wrote in a post. Professor Miller notes that 2013 marked the start of what looks likely to be a sustained decline of what had been the most pervasive of all social networking sites. According to Professor Miller, teens are embarrassed to use Facebook service and are using other social networking sites and also apps to avoid being spied on by their parents. However, the younger generation doesn’t seem all that concerned about being spied on by their parents, government agencies or corporations. For me, when I quit Facebook, I saw it as a daylight robber that was stealing my data and serving it to advertisers at my expense and I didn’t care whether some idiots somewhere were spying on me or not.
According to Professor Miller, 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. Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected. In response, the young are moving on to cooler things. What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request. The Global Social Media Impact Study observed those aged 16 to 18 in eight countries for 15 months and found Facebook use was in sharp decline. Most of the schoolchildren in the survey recognized that in many ways, Facebook is technically better than Twitter or Instagram. It is more integrated, better for photo albums, organizing parties and more effective for observing people’s relationships,” said professor Miller, adding that “slick isn’t always best” in attracting young users. The study found Facebook was now used by teenagers as a way to stay in touch with older members of their family and siblings who have left for university and has “evolved into a very different animal” from its early days as a social network focusing on young users at university. February 2014 will mark ten years since Facebook was founded with a mission to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected and anyone can sign up for Facebook but this new study is not the best news as the social networking sites prepares to celebrate a decade of existence.