BETHESDA, Md. – Facebook is still the most popular social network out there, but there are signs teenagers aren’t as excited about it as they used to be.
In an annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook even admitted younger users aren’t using the site as much and are instead looking to other social media outlets.
According to Facebook’s 10-K report:
Some of our current and potential competitors may have significantly greater resources or better competitive positions in certain product segments, geographic regions or user demographics than we do. These factors may allow our competitors to respond more effectively than us to new or emerging technologies and changes in market conditions. 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.
WTOP headed to the food court at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda to talk to teens about Facebook.
Mateo Wolf, 16, says he’s definitely cut back on his Facebook use.
“Now it’s kind of just a means of getting in touch with people … where before it was kind of your whole life story goes onto Facebook,” Wolf says.
“I use Twitter a little more often than anything else,” says Hayley Mulhern, 16.
She says one reason is she has easier access to Twitter through her smartphone.
Other teens say there are actually things about Facebook that turn them off.
“Facebook is a lot more stuff that you don’t care about or you resent maybe,” says 16-year-old Emily Birnbaum.
“There will be pictures of people you really don’t like, or stupid spam stuff everywhere. Whereas on Twitter, you just follow friends and pretty much people you know. It’s more select than Facebook. You’re friends with everyone on Facebook, but you don’t follow everyone on Twitter, and same with Instagram,” Birnbaum says.
Birnbaum says she’s quit Facebook several times, but has always returned.
“I can’t imagine myself officially deleting it,” she admits.
Francesca Patterson, 17, says she doesn’t like Facebook anymore.
“I go on it every day, but maybe for like five minutes every day,” says Patterson.
“There’s a lot of pop-ups on Facebook and ads everywhere, and you see your parents’ status updates and older people’s things that just aren’t funny and you just don’t care about them.”
But other teens WTOP spoke with say they’re still very active on Facebook.
“Facebook is definitely still in right now,” says Stefan Eliopoulos, who is 16.
He says he’s using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to communicate in different ways. He uses Instagram to share pictures and Twitter to pass along, in his words, “little blurbs.”
Andrew McDonald, 17, says he also remains a big user of Facebook.
“It’s not going to go anywhere anytime soon,” he says.