Facebook is "uncool" but teens still use it the most
Published 08/12/2015 | 07:57
Despite teenagers thinking Facebook is lame, it remains their favourite social site says new research.
Teenagers use an entirely different set of social media sites than adults do - ranging from Snapchat and Vine, to Periscope, Kik and Instagram, Facebook doesn't rank very high on their "cool" list.
Yet, 78pc of teens online use Facebook — the same proportion as in 2014, and more than any other social site except YouTube, says a new report by technology research company Forrester.
In contrast, only about 50pc of the group surveyed used Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
And it's not just that these 12-17 year-olds have a Facebook account that they rarely use - about 60pc of the teens said Facebook was the site they used the most.
More than 30pc said they were on it "all the time" which was significantly more than they said about any other site they used.
In contrast to its heavy usage, a separate survey on the "cool" factor of Facebook led to quite different results.
Ranking 10 social media tools on a scale of 1 (not cool at all) to 5 (totally cool), Facebook came in at number 7, below Whatsapp, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
Only Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+ ranked below Facebook.
There is no specific explanation for why teenagers continue to use Facebook despite thinking its fusty, but one of the report's graphs may hint at why - Facebook ranked third on a list of the most important tools for keeping in touch with friends. Only Snapchat and Instagram sat above Facebook in this ranking, showing that it continues to be a primary method of social contact for teens.
This reflects Facebook's strategy to be the communication tool you can't live without, possibly even replacing the need for phone numbers.
With its Messenger app, you can text, call, videochat, and play games with your friends without ever needing to leave the app.
"We think [Messenger] has the potential to...connect hundreds of millions of new people, and to become a really important communication tool for the world,” Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg told the audience at the company’s F8 conference in March.
So while teenagers will continue to dabble in every new social media experiment, ranging from short bytes of video to self-destructing photos, Facebook stays steady as the king of social connections.