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Researchers Claim Facebook Is 'Dead and Buried' To Many Young Users 457

Posted by timothy
from the no-room-for-an-emoticon dept.
JoeyRox writes "The recent decline in Facebook's popularity with teenagers appears to be worsening. A Global Social Media Impact study of 16 to 18 year olds found that many considered the site 'uncool' and keep their profiles alive only to keep in touch with older relatives, for whom the site remains popular. Researches say teens have switched to using WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Twitter in place of Facebook."
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Researchers Claim Facebook Is 'Dead and Buried' To Many Young Users

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  • Yogi Berra (Score:5, Funny)

    by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:08AM (#45809823) Homepage Journal

    Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.

    And trust me, it's not because it's "uncool", its because the little shits are afraid of getting caught.

    • I've always considered Facebook to be a little "transient", short, not for real conversation. But WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Twitter? Is this an indication that kids today have lost the ability to have meaningful communication? If it can't be said in 140 chars or less it's not worth communicating? There is a discussion at Balloon Juice [balloon-juice.com] about the current way of raising kids: Apparently face-to-face social interaction is passe* with the kids these days, and school shootings are up.

      *According to Google, the use o

      • Re:Get Off My Lawn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:38AM (#45809973)

        I've always considered Facebook to be a little "transient", short, not for real conversation. But WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Twitter?

        Who cares? FB got enough users to go IPO and exit. In the time it took for that to happen, its users migrated to other services, just in time for them to create profitable exits for their founders and ultimately fuck over their retail investors when the userbase shifts to the next cool thing.

        The only business model is passing notes in class. Email and USENET let you fuck around while looking like you were working. Then came GeoCities, profitably exited to Yahoo. Then came Instant messaging systems, same sort of pump/dump deal. (Somewhere around here phone companies discovered there was money to be made in texting, which was just another way to pass notes in class.) Then came MySpace and Facebook, and Instagram. Then came Twitter, basically a way to monetize texting and take it back from the phone companies. Now it's Snapchat, who promises to let NSA and anyone clever enough to rename a misnamed .JPG back to ".JPG" keep archives, but since most of its userbase (see above -- passing notes in class!) doesn't care, because they don't know enough about technology to see beyond "the client app autodeletes after viewing".

        The more it changes, the more it stays the same, and the less I want anything to do with this industry anymore, except to daytrade the stocks in it. You can't invest in it, because fads only last 3-5 years, and it takes 2-4 of those years to go from startup to IPO exit. (Any bets on when GitHub IPOs, jumps its shark, and everyone switches to Mercurial? Fuck, maybe there's a fad/pendulum effect there, and in ten years we'll abandon DVCS for centralized versioning systems once thought obsolete, sorta like how we moved from decentralized application hosting of local executables on personal computers back to SaaS and the fuckin' cloud.)

        • Re:Get Off My Lawn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by g2devi (898503) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @03:06AM (#45810077)

          The more it changes, the more it stays the same, and the less I want anything to do with this industry anymore,

          Why are you so jaded? If email works, then stick to it. It's not as if anyone is forcing you to follow the fashionistas? One of the beauties of Unix is that you can take a Unix programmer from the 1980s and drop him in 2014 and he'll still be productive. True, he wouldn't know anything about GUIs (which change with time) but the core has remained largely the same. The same can be said about all core technologies around today.

          • Re:Get Off My Lawn (Score:4, Insightful)

            by zAPPzAPP (1207370) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @07:48AM (#45810727)

            This is about communication, so yes, you are forced to use something that the other side also uses. Because communication involves at least two people.

            Sure, the UNIX nerd from 1980 can sit alone with his box and hack away, so all is fine. Typical slashdot reaction.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Or maybe, if it's going to take more than 140 characters to say, it's worth saying in person?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by synaptik (125) *
        No, it's an indication that kids want a channel that is very transient, non-persistent, and out-of-band for their parents.
    • That is the definition of uncool.
    • When "everyone" includes your parents, grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your SO's parents, your teachers, and the pastor who baptized you as an infant, then "that thing everyone else is doing" suddenly stops being cool and becomes the thing to scorn and stay away from. Getting caught or not has nothing to do with it, based on the teens I've seen and the stories we all see circulating from time to time. It's simply a matter of it not being the place where teens hang out since it's the place where everyon

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        G+ has millions of users and rising, including Wil Wheaton. :-) I prefer its interface to Facebook's. I'm not sure why Google would "give it up as a failed venture".

  • Good. (Score:5, Funny)

    by starX (306011) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:08AM (#45809825) Homepage
    I hate it when those damn kids start playing on my lawn.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I hate it when those damn kids start playing on my lawn.

      You call THAT shit a lawn?

      Damn, have your standards been lowered by social media...

    • *ahem*, I believe you mean "your wall," right gramps?

  • No loss (Score:3, Interesting)

    by msobkow (48369) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:11AM (#45809833) Homepage Journal

    All I've ever seen contributed by teens is slang and whining and posts of crap they claim is music.

    Now get off my lawn!

  • Newspaper (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:14AM (#45809853)

    I read about this in the newspaper.

  • Too complicated (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:14AM (#45809861)
    Personally I find that Facebook has too many features. It sort of reminds me of Microsoft Office with this endless parade of new tiny and mostly useless features.

    I think that this is where the snapchats and twitters do so very well. With a very simple core feature set it is not hard to keep focused on what works. But with facebook it almost seems like they don't want to leave anything out just in case some competitor comes along and eats their lunch.

    I think it all boils down to the question: what is Facebook? With the highly successful recent upstarts that is an easy thing to answer. But with facebook the question is actually quite complex. It is very difficult for facebook to be so much to so many.

    To sum it up they have lost their 30 second elevator pitch. But maybe with this information Facebook will realize that their core audience aren't teenyboppers but adults and thus will focus their feature set in that direction.
    • It's more now what it's always been; a clusterfuck. From a usability standpoint it's like GT5's main menu but scrolling to infinity. I deleted my first account long ago and my second one only echoes my Twitter feed. Google+ isn't much better, sadly. A clean, intuitive interface would do wonders for both services.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by arth1 (260657)

        A clean, intuitive interface would do wonders for both services.

        Be careful when asking for "clean".
        The newer generation of "UI designers" (and I use that phrase lightly) thinks that clean means adding more whitespace and blowing everything up full screen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mlts (1038732)

      To me, FB was becoming too much of an "all eggs in one basket" type of site. It handles authentication for third parties, a gaming platform, messaging, calendars, contact lists. None of this is something unique to FB, because other applications or websites have been doing this.

      Then there are the concerns about privacy. At least SnapChat offers the illusion of privacy which people are wanting since there have been stories and stories about FB data falling into the wrong hands [1].

      To boot, I don't know any

      • Re:Too complicated (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arth1 (260657) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:43AM (#45809987) Homepage Journal

        [1]: One example personally was someone tagging me while I was browsing a humidor in a FB pic. A week later the health insurance company I had at the time then sent a demand letter that I either go for a physical or pay smoker's rates.

        That claim I find rather hard to believe. So much so that I don't, without it being backed up.
        Does anyone have any evidence for this happening?

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          I was about to ask the same thing. If it were try then it could be an incredibly powerful weapon in the war for privacy. A massive and crippling lawsuit could finally put some kind of limit on how far privacy violation can go.

          Unfortunately, like 82% of anecdotes and 94% off statistics on Slashdot it is probably made up.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Google+ has the ability to disable tagging, despite it's other flaws. If facebook doesn't allow opt-out too then it again points to it as a site for kids who don't care about privacy.

      • Re:Too complicated (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Derec01 (1668942) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @03:03AM (#45810065)

        Whoa, footnote [1] is a little too egregious for me to let it pass unremarked. Why in the world could the insurance company see the picture? How long was it from posting to reaction? Which company was this? (I'm not inclined to reward this kind of behavior)

        For one, the logical leap they made is huge, and for another, that's some serious monitoring of online traffic for this to be true. I have to admit I'm a bit skeptical, not that I'm sure they wouldn't love to do this.

    • I don't think I've ever heard anyone refer to intrusive ads and the selling of your personal information as "features".

      (Couldn't resist...)

    • The way some have raved about FB's supposedly dirt simple website design, I thought I was the only one who found FB's interface poor and confusing. Somehow, reading an invite or message doesn't always clean up the list of new things FB likes to nag you about, and logging in doesn't always take you to a home page. Terminology is a bit misleading. I've frequently ended up in the interface for searching out and adding new friends while hunting around for something else entirely.

      I don't feel too trusting o

    • Personally I find that Facebook has too many features. It sort of reminds me of Microsoft Office with this endless parade of new tiny and mostly useless features.

      It's not that Facebook is complicated. It's that most of the new features involve either advertising or collecting data about you. They have value for Facebook, not the user. Facebook is pulling a Myspace. Worse, they're doing it in the phone era, where ads are more annoying due to the limited screen real estate.

      Snapchat is still in the "no ads, no revenue" phase, when it's fun to use. Originally, Google didn't have ads. Originally, Facebook didn't have ads. Until recently, Twitter did not have ads. Once

  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:15AM (#45809863) Homepage

    Only old people use Facebook.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      Many old people prefer methods of communication where they decide exactly who the recipients are, each and every time. And where the history is available no matter how much time has passed, or what service you now use, because it adheres to open standards.
      Like e-mail.

      When, a couple of years ago, I predicted that Facebook would face the same fate as Myspace, Livejournal and others, I was ridiculed. Facebook was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, folks, do you still think the same now?

      • by Kaenneth (82978)

        Join the club, I was downmodded when I said the Ghz race would end someday.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Email is my personal preference for exactly the reasons you give. Facebook has nowhere to go but down. Honestly, I'm surprised the Facebook bubble has gotten as big as it has.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I'm old and I don't use facebook. I had an account about 3 years ago and after about a year I had logged in maybe 5 or 6 times. I kept getting all this ridiculous spam from everywhere so I just deleted it. What the fuck is up with the farm game anyway? People actually play that?

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Turns out young people are fickle. Fashions change quickly, there always has to be something new. Who knew?

  • Back to MySpace we go.
  • What the heck do these WhatsApp and Snapchat chatter programs have to do with social networking, anyways?

    • by Derec01 (1668942) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @03:07AM (#45810079)

      I'd imagine the lack of social networking elements is the draw. People assume that today's kids don't care about privacy, but I get the sense that most of them want their social connections to be more ephemeral than Facebook encourages. With Facebook, defriending someone could be slightly embarrassing, so I just accumulate a pile of people I used to know and may not identify with anymore, with potentially added stress if I delete them. With a messaging app, I message you, or I don't. You can add all the privacy features you want to Facebook, but the possibly preferable alternative is not putting all the effort into maintaining a profile.

    • " Social networking " is an intelligence gathering tool under cover of being practical . All it does is gather data about you.
      Cut off the umbilical.tying you to the secret services and police forces . Shut those accounts down , wipe the data out and never get fooled again by the Americans into trusting them with a single bit of data.

  • Just the other day, I heard an 18-year-old tell his mother that she spends too much time on Facebook.

    I about fell off my chair. Maybe it gets better, after all! :)

    • Re:It's true! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Moridineas (213502) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:46AM (#45810001) Journal

      Like many slashdot users, for most of my life, I've been accused of spending too much time on computers.

      As a child of the 80s, I've spent countless hours on BBSes, terminal internet, dialup internet, AOL instant messenger, battle.net, mmos, civilization 1, civilization 2, civilization 3, etc. ;-)

      Today, however, I feel like a luddite. I don't use Facebook. I don't use instagram or snapchat or whatsapp. I read one or two twitter accounts, but don't have an account myself. My wife is totally hooked on Facebook, and I'm now I'm the one complaining about spending so much time on the computer!

      It's a bizarre world.

  • Obviously teens and older people have different interests and different views, so they need different forms of expression. It is good that the separation occured by natural selection and not by advertising.

  • by eric31415927 (861917) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:37AM (#45809965)

    After spending all their money on cell phones, kids cannot afford to buy products advertised to them on Facebook.

    The fact that Facebook's customer base is morphng into older folks only helps its business model of selling ads.

  • No Surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Evil Pete (73279) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @02:45AM (#45809995) Homepage

    Teenagers want and need to find a place of their own, to form their own subculture. A new technology comes along, they jump on board because they are highly adaptable, their parents less, often much less, so. But after five years the teenagers are getting out of their teens and those entering the teens once again need to find their own space. Therefore, there can be no permanent place for teens unless it puts off older people joining or staying. Anyway, someone needs to beta test the new communications paradigms.

    • by Jhon (241832)

      "...and then I found a job. Keeping people from hanging out in front of the drug store".

  • by Tasha26 (1613349) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @03:09AM (#45810093) Homepage
    After hiding those who consistently (long-term) wouldn't participate on my posts, may it be in terms of comments or thumbs-up, I've proceeded to also hide friends who only "share" links such as those from 9gag or Youtube or Facebook pages. Problem now is that my Newsfeed looks nearly static for 24-36 hours! Facebook is indeed dead to me but that's after removing the selfish/narcissists and true time-wasters.

    I'm now wondering why I even joined Facebook. It used to be ok and then one day the Newsfeed was changed to default to "Most popular" posts rather than chronological. So much for not putting a view-count on your Profile page or under your photos because somehow management didn't want Facebook to be some MySpace popularity contest sh***y website. That new Newsfeed is a true contradiction to that ancient moto.
  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Sunday December 29, 2013 @03:12AM (#45810101)

    There was never an abundance of teenagers on Facebook. It was initially for college students, and it branched out to older users. It has never been a good tool for young people living with their parents (for obvious reasons).

  • I'm looking for the research and see.....none. The credentials of the researchers is impressive at first glance, but there is no research. This whole thing looks like a hypothesis without any real research. The entire premise is very interesting, and some of their ideas are worth PROVING. I can't wait to see the results.
  • by Charcharodon (611187) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @05:27AM (#45810369)
    This just in. Teenagers don't want to hang out with their parents or older relatives.

    Guess what, that will always be the case. MySpace died a grizly death as soon as Moms everywhere started dropping friend requests. Facebook is pretty much just the lazy person's way of sending email/IM. It's cool to be able to see what people are up to, but I find myself using it less and less as time goes on.

  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @07:32AM (#45810683) Homepage

    A Global Social Media Impact study of 16 to 18 year olds

    These are people whose social network consists of persons they see just about every day of their life, i.e., their classmates and family. It's not surprising they don't find facebook useful. What is surprising is that they find any other online social network particularly useful. I imagine twitter has more to do with keeping up with celebrities/bands and snapchat/whatsapp is really not a social network so much as it is an improved texting interface which probably works well for intercommunication between small high school cliques.

    The reason they use facebook to keep in touch with older relatives is because older relatives are the only people they have developed significant relationships with who are not immediately accessible. When these same students go out-of-state to various colleges, Facebook is going to be a much better way to keep track of each others lives, interact casually with new people (i.e. facebook can be very passive, it doesn't require as much direct activity as a chat program, can just go ahead and friend that guy/girl you maybe like), and keep track of clubs and related events.

    But I have seen some die off in facebook popularity. People still check it but they don't post nearly as much. I personally blame privacy issues and the 'like' feature. The latter because it's makes it a popularity contest. Some people are secure enough to not care, others are going to be put off when certain friends post and get 100 likes and they get 2, or even if they do get enough likes stress about keeping it up, or whatever. Best just not to post and avoid the stress of whether your post will be well-received by the community. Any contest is ultimately only going to be participated in by people who do well at the contest, assuming there is any choice in participating.

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