Yes, teenagers use Facebook. And although whether or not they’ll be using Facebook in a few years remains to be seen, the site does have a considerable presence among high-school students. The Pew Research Center recently examined how teens use social media, finding that they don’t like drama and having their parents connected to them, but they stay on Facebook because it plays a key part in the social experience. However, Facebook’s youngest users tend to have no problem configuring privacy settings.
Myriad reports have said that Facebook has a problem with teen users eschewing the site for social networks such as Tumblr. A few sources have reported Friday that Yahoo may be trying to purchase Tumblr, but Facebook could also be in these discussions, as well. According to AllThingsD, Yahoo is rumored to be willing to pay up to $1 billion to purchase Tumblr, but Forbes and GigaOM think that Facebook could swoop in and add the blogging site. However, it’s unlikely that Facebook will get the chance.
Facebook-owned photo-sharing network Instagram is under fire from advocates for children’s safety, with more than 4,500 signatures having been collected on a petition on Change.org that calls for Instagram to make the default settings private for users aged 13 through 17, and not geotag- and geolocation-enabled.
There is no shortage of advice for younger users on Facebook, but if the same mistakes weren’t being made, the same type of advice wouldn’t be so valuable. The latest rendition comes from Mobistealth, which tailored its advice on the topic to parents and employers.
It seems like on a monthly basis, there’s been a report or study that says teens and young adults are avoiding Facebook in favor of other sites or applications such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Snapchat. Some have even felt that it’s a death knell for the future of the company. But as Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said during Wednesday’s first-quarter earnings call, Facebook isn’t concerned about these reports.
One of the main topics concerning Facebook now is whether or not teenagers are getting tired of the site, or are avoiding the social network completely because it’s not cool. Younger users also likely have reservations about joining a site where their parents are, preferring Tumblr and other sites. Right Mix Marketing put together an infographic, offering some reasons why teens may not want to be active on Facebook.
Facebook launched another initiative aimed at keeping teens safe on the social network, teaming up with the National Association of Attorneys General on a consumer-education program aimed at teens and their parents, elements of which will be hosted on the Facebook Safety page.
Much has been made in the tech and social media news circles regarding Facebook’s eventual demise because teenagers don’t make up a large group on the social network. Brittany Darwell, co-editor of sister site Inside Facebook, wrote that just because teenagers aren’t on Facebook now doesn’t mean that they won’t sign up in the future.
With testing of Facebook’s new graph search feature in full swing, the social network took steps to reassure parents of teens that their children are not at risk, outlining steps that were taken to protect users aged 13 to 17.