Facebook still top social network among teens, says survey

CNET

Reports of Facebook's death among teenagers have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to a new survey.

Facebook scored as the favorite social network in a Forrester poll of more than 4,500 teens (aged 12 to 17) in the U.S. To gauge the overall use of such sites, the teenagers were asked not just which ones they use but how frequently. More than three-quarters raised their hands for Facebook, twice as many as those for Pinterest, Tumblr, or Snapchat, and more than the total of Instagram and WhatsApp combined, according to Forrester.

Facebook has been facing an image problem for no longer being the in-thing among the teenage crowd. Past surveys have concluded that the site is not as appealing to teens. In October, Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said daily Facebook use among younger teens declined from the second to the third quarter. In November, Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg dismissed any concerns, saying that "the vast majority of U.S. teens are on Facebook, and the majority of U.S. teens use Facebook almost every day." Hanging onto the teen market is critical not just to appear cool among social networks but to retain a captive audience to which to sell the products and services advertised on the site.

Despite other studies' findings, Forrester doesn't believe Facebook has a teen problem. The research firm points to such declines among teens as slight drops and says that the majority of teens still use the site. Forrester's own poll found that 28 percent of young people who hop onto Facebook say they use it all of the time, a higher percentage than given for any other social network.

"The bottom line: The sky is not falling," Forrester analyst Nate Elliott said. "Facebook does not have a problem attracting or retaining teen users."

To obtain the results, Forrester interviewed 4,517 U.S. individuals aged 12 to 17 in April via online surveys.

This article originally appeared on CNET.

  • Lance Whitney On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

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