Caitlin Dewey, Teens are officially over Facebook
Between fall 2014 and spring 2014, when Piper Jaffray last conducted this survey, Facebook use among teenagers aged 13 to 19 plummeted from 72 percent to 45 percent. In other words, less than half of the teenagers surveyed said “yes” when asked if they use Facebook. (A note: There’s no spring data available for the “no networks” option, which is why that spot is blank.)
This is confirmation of Mary Meeker’s prediction about the defection of users from large social-scale networks like Twitter and Facebook to small social scale chat solutions. And that defection will happen first in teens, who are the biggest adopters of mobile.
As I wrote at the time,
Meeker makes a really smart analysis of this trend, and contrasts it with services like Facebook: people are transitioning to messaging tools geared toward frequent communication with a small group of contacts — or what I have been calling communications with a set — and moving away from broadcasting messages to large audiences — like Twitter and Facebook — which is communication with a scene, in my terms.
As Meeker describes it, this means the action is moving from supporting sets and away from scenes, where the value of the network is not principally about the number of nodes, but the number of sets and the amount of messaging going on. (Note that this sounds like a rediscovery of Reed’s Law, which states that the utility of a network grows exponentially over the number of nodes, based on the number of groups that form.)
In the consumer web, this shift is going to pose interesting challenges for businesses and advertisers, because users will be less willing to accept ad tracking, or ads at all, in what they generally consider a private context for communications in sets.
We are seeing the same trend in work tech: the surge of interest in tools like Slack, Hipchat, and the like, and the relative decline of now-conventional ‘social collaboration’ tools. Note that Piper Jaffray missed the swing to chat tools, because they didn’t ask.
This is going to be the big work tech trend of the year. And I will be talking about that subject in the Bixtrix24 webinar Oct 14 at 11am Eastern: see here for more deets.
This is fascinating stuff and important to know.