Facebook is losing teens to YouTube

By cheryl | Education

Jun 01
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While Facebook has been the reigning social media champion for the past half a decade, it’s safe to say that that era is over. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, teens between 13 – 17 years of age have moved on to other social media sites like YouTube, Instagram and SnapChat.

(That must hurt Zuckerberg quite a bit)

The current winner is YouTube by a whopping 85%, with Instagram and SnapChat going toe-to-toe at 72% and 69% respectively. Former champion Facebook? Is lagging at 4th place with 51%, a whole 20% decrease from its previous result in 2015.

If you consider that 95% of teens in the US own a smartphone and that 45% of that is online near constantly, that’s certainly a huge drop in popularity.

What’s trending? Not Facebook.

While trends have been known to change in rapid succession within the short span of weeks, it’s quite the surprise when we find that there is now what can be called “traditional” social media. Looking back, it’s quite a shock to realise that 14 years have passed since the founding of Facebook.

However, the social media giant is now facing the problem that nearly all large companies face – inflexibility.

More than a decade has passed since “online marketing”, “digital marketing” and “social media marketing” were coined, with Facebook leading the way most times. However, as usual, times change and Facebook ads have become too commonplace and barely noticed.

Paid Facebook ads are no longer as profitable, many of us are becoming aware and bothered by how excessively Facebook tracks us across the internet.

Customer comfort also seems to fall to the wayside as the company grows – way too many complaints about slow replies and ignored requests have surfaced time and again.

Income-ing news

Facebook has consistently been the trend with teens from lower-income families. 70% of teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36% whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.

There are also other demographic differences like race and gender to consider before launching that social media marketing campaign. (Girls prefer SnapChat while Boys prefer YouTube)

What does it mean?

For us: It means that companies will most likely need to switch up their social media platforms and start building a presence on YouTube and SnapChat ASAP. Yes, social media marketing is still the “in” thing to do, but where you do it needs to change. And switching platforms is no small endeavour.

For Facebook: it means an uphill battle to combat both its competitors as well as its own internal rigidity. The fact that user statistics have dropped is a big sign that there needs to be some kind of change in how things are done.

There may have been changes to Facebook’s algorithm as well as its policies and regulations, but it’s likelier than not that they need to look into more alternatives to advertising. There are now several new ways to build a brand on social media, with Insta-stories and messenger marketing and many other newer techniques.

Although many of us are still hung up on print and traditional marketing, we need to know that even the “new” social media marketing is changing fast. For those of us who’ve barely dipped our toes into digital advertising, perhaps now is the time to really catch up, before more changes occur and we’re left biting the dust yet again.


Want to get the latest news on social media and other online marketing trends? Join us at the NAC this year to listen from social media whiz Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee) himself!

Early Bird Specials are no longer available, however we’re still giving away a 30% discount for all ticket categories as well as Gary Vee’s new book Crushing It! for Premium tickets and up.

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