According to a recent study from Forrester Research, titled "Why the Sky Isn't Falling on the World's Favorite Social Network," Facebook is still the go-to site among youth for social media.
Forrester asked 4,517 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 about their social media use. The teens were not just asked if they use social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. They were also asked if they visited those sites "about once a day," "at least a few times each day," and even if they were on any of the sites "all the time."
The results clearly revealed Facebook remains teen users' favorite social media site - by a long shot.
Indeed, more than three-quarters of online teens presently use Facebook. That's two times as many who use Pinterest, Tumblr, or Snapchat.
What's more, 28% of teens who are on Facebook say they use it "all the time." That was a higher percentage than teens said about any other social media site.
The research firm also found that nearly half of the respondents are currently using Facebook more than they were a year ago.
Moreover, Forrester researchers predict that increasing smartphone usage will drive even more teens to Facebook, since its mobile app is one of the most widely used in the world.
"As today's 12- and 13-year-olds grow into 16- and 17-year-olds, it's likely their Facebook adoption will increase further," wrote Nate Elliott and Gina Fleming, the report's authors.
Those words, and the Forrester report, no doubt have Facebook executives - in addition to Facebook stock investors - breathing a sigh of relief.
Here are more details from the FB usage report...
New Teen Usage Numbers Bode Well for Facebook Stock
"Since Facebook's CFO admitted in 2013 that young teens were visiting the site slightly less frequently, most marketers have accepted as fact that teens are fleeing the site en masse," wrote Elliot, who is known to have been critical of Facebook. "But that's simply not true."
Forrester's survey is a stark contradiction to several other studies, including the Pew Research Internet Project, which showed teen interest in Facebook was fading fast.
Facebook even acknowledged the challenge of keeping teens engaged it its annual 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in February 2013:
"We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook. For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram. In the event that our users increasingly engage with other products and services, we may experience a decline in user engagement and our business could be harmed."
Without question, as teachers, parents, and grandparents have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, the site has lost some of its cool swagger. It's no longer the hip online destination it once was.
Yet, as the Forrester report shows, teens haven't fled the world's largest and most popular social network by any means.
"The bottom line: The sky is not falling. Facebook does not have a problem attracting or retaining teen users," Elliot and Fleming concluded.
In mid-morning trading, Facebook stock (FB) rose 1.46% to $66.68. That brings FB's year-to-date rise to about 23% and one-year gains to a staggering 177%.
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- Forrester: Facebook Still Dominates Teens Social Usage
- The Wall Street Journal: Survey: Teens Say They Are Using Facebook More
- Fast Company: Despite Losing Its Cool, Facebook Is Still the Most Popular Social Network for Teens