Facebook, once social media’s rising star, has taken a back seat to YouTube according to the 4,014 teens interviewed by The Futures Company. Last week, Facebook noted a decrease in “younger teens” using the site on a daily basis—it seems that young people are flocking elsewhere.
Last year, Facebook was the most popular site among 12 to 15-year-olds. This year, the most popular site among all teens is YouTube—50% of those surveyed cited YouTube as their favorite site compared with 45.2% for Facebook. Their “favorites” list also includes Amazon (27.8%), Google (25%), Twitter (19.5%), Yahoo (12.1%), eBay (10.7%) and Tumblr (12.3%). The survey asked teens for their top five favorite sites; the percentages above don’t add up to 100%.
Cisco released its Visual Networking Index forecast earlier this year predicting that by 2017, online video will be more popular than social networking. The company estimates that the number of online video viewers will reach two billion by 2017, surpassing the number of social networking users in the same year (1.7 billion).
The popularity shift from Facebook to YouTube in young teens enforces Cisco’s prediction that more and more people will prefer viewing online video to engaging on social networks. Though Facebook is still the most popular site among twentysomethings (55%), overall usage has declined. In July last year, Facebook saw a 1.1% decline in users in the U.S. and a decline in 14 of the 23 countries where it has 50% penetration. Teens are leading the charge away from this social media giant as the brand noted in February.
“We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook. For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram. In the event that our users increasingly engage with other products and services, we may experience a decline in user engagement and our business could be harmed.”
Online video is the up-and-coming, preferred option for many internet users. Over time, we may find it contributes more heavily to the decline of various social networks. Brand’s should take note of this information sooner rather than later and place more importance on creating quality video content for viewers. YouTube’s popularity is constantly on the rise—it’s imperative that brands continue to develop unique, engaging video marketing strategies to maximize reach and exposure.