Published June 24, 2014
Although there has been widespread speculation that teen Facebook (FB) usage is on the decline, a new report from Forrester Research (FORR) suggests otherwise. The survey says that nearly half of U.S. teen users have increased their Facebook usage from last year.
Facebook still remains the dominant social network, with over three quarters of teens surveyed saying they are on the site. That’s double the numbers seen from Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat.
Also, 28% of teens reported using Facebook “all the time" -- more than any other social network. Facebook-owned Instagram was also popular, coming in second for “hyperusage.”
“The results were clear: Facebook remains young users’ favorite social network,” Forrester vice president Nate Elliott wrote on his blog.
Facebook teen usage has been under scrutiny because youth adoption is often considered a bellwether of future performance for social media companies. Silicon Valley generally views teenagers and twenty-somethings as the trendsetters for consumer tech.
Addressing concerns last October, Facebook’s then CFO David Ebersman told investors that younger teens were in fact visiting the site slightly less frequently. He specified that overall teen usage remained stable.
Younger users tend to access Facebook on mobile and the company has shown strong growth in app usage. In addition to its primary apps, Facebook also released a new app called Slingshot last week, which has similarities to Snapchat.
“This is a clear positive,” CRT Capital analyst Neil Doshi said about the report. “We think that [Facebook] is also investing in new apps to bring more teen users to the platform.”
Facebook also owns WhatsApp, which is popular with youth internationally. In many countries where text messaging is expensive, WhatsApp is a common alternative.
Facebook shares are up 20% year-to-date and are currently trading around $67. Facebook has a market cap $171 billion.