On Thursday, Facebook stock stood at $22.05, down -1.39% on the day. The company still is going through it's well-documented stock woes, but Facebook may now have an even more troubling problem: it is losing young users to other sites.
Social media is a part of everyday life, though at times one can grow tired of a particular site and move onto others. Facebook was originally geared toward students in college with the goal of connecting them in cyberspace.. Today, however younger people are moving away from Facebook and onto sites such as Twitter or Tumblr, and apps like Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion in cash and stock.
It seems as though everyone is on Facebook these days, whereas not everyone has an Instagram or a Twitter account. According to a Pew Internet Project survey, among adults 18 and older, Facebook has become the social network of choice. It was also found that 73% of online teens and 72% of young adults use social network sites. In comparison, older adults have not kept pace, as 40% of adults 30 and older used social sites as of fall 2009. This is indicative of how social networking is progressing as the years go by. Teens and younger people today want a network where they connect with their closest friends and share content among their network of friends.
Although Facebook is a popular medium for sharing, many users have privacy concerns, and some are turning away from the site. As this LA Times article notes, younger users are slowly losing interest in Facebook as a way to share online content, and are now preferring sites like Twitter and Tumblr, where they can share within their personal circle of friends. Twitter has the option of locking tweets to make them visible only to followers, an option which is attractive to young people. Twitter has more than a 100 million users, most of which log on every day and nearly 55% of users are active on mobile according to tweets sent out from Twitter itself. However, in terms of mobile users Instagram has surpassed that of Twitter in the number of active daily users. It was also found that the average Instagram user spends more time using the app then the average Twitter user spends sending and reading tweets. This is important to consider, as it shows a trend towards more instant and personal social connections online.
Sites such as Tumblr are micro-blogging sites which let users share what they want, with many sharing straight from Instagram or Twitter. Young people want a place where they are able to quickly update their circle of friends and not necessarily all of their classmates, in comparison to Facebook. The question is whether Facebook is able to make itself more social, in terms of a social network it has been around for eight years which shows just how many people have joined. According to an article in PC Mag, it was found that the majority of Facebook users are abroad, while U.S. Facebook members have declined. Facebook is still extremely, but it is waning. People are more mobile now, and constantly checking their phones or making sure they tweet a picture of something in their life via Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users will continue to grow as long as there is a strong market for this this type of sharing community, thereby making Tumblr become even more popular.