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Is Facebook still the ‘in’ thing to connect with the younger generation?

16th August 2013

A recent post on Mashable has caused a bit of a stir surrounding the use of Facebook for teenagers. Ruby Karp asks whether young people still regard FB as cool. If they don’t, I reckon this has some significant implications for the PR industry. A lot of PR campaigns take advantage of social media as a tool to connect with certain audiences. The younger generation, in particular, are targeted primarily through channels such as social media including the popular site, Facebook. However, is Facebook actually that useful anymore? A number of sites, such as Twitter and Instagram are beginning to hold onto the attention of teenagers, causing Facebook to see a decline in their younger users. Or, if you are really ‘on trend’ then Pinterest or Tumblr seems to be the way forward. I think this has been caused by the major boom in ‘adult’ Facebook users. I know when I was 13, the thought of my mum or dad reading my conversations and studying my pictures from the night you ‘apparently’ stayed at your friends house and ‘didn’t’ go to that house party you were banned from, would horrify me. Not least, the thought of your Nan posting on your wall twenty times a day. Facebook just isn’t ‘cool’ anymore. Not only has it seemed to lose the ‘cool’ factor, the common human habit of following the crowd, along with the concept of these sites helping you interact with your ‘social’ group means that when a number of your friends convert from Facebook to Twitter then the surely you will follow, right? Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a useless tool, and sure, people still use it but I think it would be silly to say it isn’t declining. Why would a teenager want to sit on Facebook talking to their parents when they could be interacting via tweets with their favourite celebrity? Or uploading pictures of their new outfit to their hundreds of followers on Instagram? Regardless of the details, social media is huge with today’s younger market, and if it is used to its full advantage it can be very beneficial- but it’s interesting to see the change in use within different demographics.

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