So Long Social Media: Teenagers Opting for peer-to-peer closed apps

d0a6efd97fc318b2ea8b8fa0ffff38ecWhile Facebook remains the undisputed king of social networks with 1.6 billion Monthly Active Users (MAUs), recent studies have shown an increasing shift to messaging and auto-delete apps such as Kik, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. A 2015 study by TIME had show that 11 million high school and college aged teens left Facebook between 2011 and 2014, a number that has since increased. While this may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to total MAUs, a study released this past August by Pew Research showed that 49% of smartphone owners between age 18-29 use a messaging app while 41% use a automatically delete app. These “narrowcast” apps were clearly preferred to traditional publicly accessible platforms such as Pinterest and LinkedIn.

While 70% surveyed did admit they use Facebook once a day and Pew did not break out age groups, the younger demographic answered they were logging in to simply see what others were posting as opposed to creating new content. With the surge in users aged 65+, Facebook has certainly lost some of its cool factor with the teenage demographic. Permanence and privacy are also commonly cited reasons for the shift as teens understand an embarrassing photo posted to a site such as Facebook is never truly deleted and potential employers now routinely search social media during their vetting process.

So is this shift a cause for concern? Well depends on who you ask. For corporations and advertisers who rely on FB “likes” to determine ad spending, less people sharing will ultimately disrupt the precise targeting which allows Facebook to generate the lion’s share of their revenue. Parents are concerned that they are increasingly becoming less able to monitor their children’s activities. Others argue that an increased use of narrowcast apps, limits peoples outside exposure to news and ideas that differ from their current beliefs leading to possible toxic situations. On the other hand advocates for increased privacy on the Internet laud these apps as a way to stop government and big data monitoring.


  1. From a corporate standpoint, do you believe this trend is a real concern or simply a demographic shift that can be solved as apps like Snapchat monetize?
  2. From a social aspect, do you believe there should be concern a younger generation could become potentially “closed off” from the different outlets by increased use of narrowcast apps?



2 thoughts on “So Long Social Media: Teenagers Opting for peer-to-peer closed apps

  1. I agree with many discussion points in this article. Facebook is definitely losing its cool. Personally, I find myself only using facebook or logging on to Facebook only when I receive a notification. Such notifications are usually tied to events, invitations, or requests. For the most part, I have already “connected” with enough people on Facebook. While the Facebook connections are great, these individuals are not the ones that I communicate with on a regular basis. Messaging platforms offer a “safer” and more open place to be yourself.

    While messaging platforms maybe the future, Facebook is not going anywhere anytime soon. Data is value. Facebook has proven that they can monetize this data, especially on the mobile end. Whether Facebook is losing its cool or not, companies will want to be in business with a proven brand with less risk.

  2. I think that Facebook and messaging apps serve a totally different need, you log in to Facebook to see what other people are doing and you use messaging apps like whatsapp to actually communicate with your closest friends in a more personal way. However, it is true that many younger people are logging in to Facebook simply to see what others are posting, rather than creating content of their own and are gradually leaving the platform. Younger people are becoming less attracted to Facebook perhaps because they don’t want their parents that are on Facebook to see what they are doing, same with or future employers or college admissions. From a corporate standpoint, the trend is a potential concern. If young people are becoming less likely to provide personal details about themselves on Facebook or no longer like things on Facebook, the digital advertising machine that runs on such data may face some major headwinds.

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