Report: Teens leave Facebook for Twitter, because they want less drama

instagramfacebookFacebook is still the social media king, but teens are using Twitter and Instagram at an increasing rate recently because, well, there’s just too much drama and gossip on Facebook.

That’s the latest from a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found that even though 94 percent of teenage social media users still have Facebook, more and more are jumping ship to Twitter and Instagram because of what Pew found as “increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama.’” on Mark Zuckerberg’s network.

Teen Twitter use increased from 16 percent in 2011 to 24 percent in 2012, while Instagram grabbed 11 percent of the teen social media market share last year. Facebook usage stayed consistent, increasing ever-so-slightly from 93 percent to 94 percent in 2012.

The 100-page report doesn’t necessarily claim that teens are leaving Facebook altogether, but rather that their interest in the network is waning and it’s almost a burden to have a presence on Facebook.

pewsocialmedia

“While Facebook is still deeply integrated in teens’ everyday lives, it is sometimes seen as a utility and an obligation rather than an exciting new platform that teens can claim as their own,” the report says.

Here are some of the telling, and funny, remarks from the study groups:

Female (age 19): “Yeah, that’s why we go on Twitter and Instagram [instead of Facebook]. My mom doesn’t have that.”

Female (age 14): “OK, here’s something I want to say. I think Facebook can be fun, but also it’s drama central. On Facebook, people imply things and say things, even just by a like, that they wouldn’t say in real life.”

Male (age 18): “It’s because [Facebook] it’s where people post unnecessary pictures and they say unnecessary things, like saying he has a girlfriend, and a girl will go on and tag him in the picture like, me and him in the sun having fun. Why would you do that?”

Female (age 16): “Because I think I deleted it [my Facebook account] when I was 15, because I think it [Facebook] was just too much for me with all the gossip and all the cliques and how it was so important to be– have so many friends–I was just like it’s too stressful to have a Facebook, if that’s what it has to take to stay in contact with just a little people. It was just too strong, so I just deleted it. And I’ve been great ever since.”

It’s also interesting to see the teen Twitter adoption, especially since the network was often billed as too invasive when it debuted — people didn’t want to know how or where you were eating a cookie on a Monday afternoon. But the report notes that though “adults were the first to colonize Twitter, teens are now migrating to Twitter in growing numbers, often as a supplement to their Facebook use.”

And for what it’s worth, there are still more teen social media users on Myspace (7 percent) than Google Plus (3 percent). Check out the full Pew report here.

Previously on GeekWire: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on $1.1 billion Tumblr deal: ‘We promise not to screw this up’

  • Guest

    Facebook, meet MySpace….

  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    My thought is I wonder if part of the reason for the shift is that the Wall/Comments on FB provide a way for people to pile on that’s easy to see and so feeds itself.

    It’s harder to create that with the streams in Twitter.

    Just a thought.

  • n8

    I’m 34. All my nieces and nephews who are 12 to 18 by far prefer twitter. For me personally, I really like using FB to keep up with friends and family but am tired of seeing so much irrelevant content that FB decided I need to see. For example, when someone likes a page, becomes friends with someone else, is tagged in a picture. I just want to see what others with whom I’m connected decide to share with me. Also, all the sayings imposed on pictures is getting really old. I wish I could quite but my network of friends keeps me tied to it.