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Teenagers unfriend Facebook as it ages

Teenagers may no longer consider Facebook the cool social media site that it used to be as iStrategy Labs, a digital consulting company, reported that the website has lost 25 percent of its teen base over the last three years.

The percent rounds up to roughly 3 million teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17.

Daniel Kline from Daily Finance wrote that a central reason teenagers are abandoning Facebook is in part because the parents of those teenagers now use the site themselves.

In the same article, Kline remarks that while there has been a decrease in teenagers, the website has seen a growth of 80.4 percent among adults 55 and older. It is precisely for this reason that teenagers have supposedly migrated from Facebook to other sites like Twitter and Instagram to share status updates and like photos where their parents can't see what's being posted.

"As a result, these tweens crave anonymity, which provides them the opportunity to speak and share freely, without worrying that their posts will be seen by people (like parents and college admissions counselors) they'd prefer to keep in the dark," according to an article in Business Insider.

An even more shocking study by academics at Princeton was highlighted by Fox News and other news sources this week, which said that Facebook would lose 80 percent of its users by 2017 — most in the key demographic that advertisers look for.

Facebook, however, countered by using the same study to show that by the logic used in the study, Princeton itself would be gone by 2021.

While the numbers may be worrisome to Facebook in regards to the survival of the website, other critics believe that the teenagers are not as necessary anymore for Facebook to survive.

An article in The Huffington Post reported that Facebook no longer needs teens to actively use the website in order to make money off them. People use Facebook to sign in to numerous websites, which in turn send Facebook the data of what those users are reading, watching, buying, etc.

Advertisers in turn buy the data, which helps them more effectively advertise to the age groups they target.

And while the stronger presence of the older generation may make Facebook "uncool" for the younger generation, the truth is it has become so ingrained in our society that critics believe that not only is the website going nowhere soon, but that those same teens that are abandoning the website will likely return.



Sam Clemence is an intern for Deseret News where he works with the opinion section staff and as a reporter for the enterprise team.
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