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October 19, 2016
By Maddie Studnicka, Hinsdale Central
For over 12 years, Facebook dominated the world of social media, reaching the 1 billion user milestone in 2013 according to the CIA Factbook. However, for younger generations Facebook is becoming obsolete.
These days the largest demographic on Facebook ranges from 25-years-old to 34-years-old, making up nearly 30 percent of the site’s users. While the adults are sharing and commenting on Facebook posts, teens are posting and liking each other’s pictures on Instagram, typing up a tweet for Twitter, or taking a picture for their Snapchat story. A poll by Piper Jaffray showed that as of fall 2014, Instagram and Twitter have passed up Facebook with 76 percent of teens using Instagram, 59 percent using Twitter, and only 45 percent using Facebook.
“Adults have taken over Facebook because when they were younger, they started using Facebook and, meanwhile, people our age didn’t have phones yet,” said Joseph Hayes, a junior at Hinsdale Central High School. “It has a large adult presence whereas Instagram and Snapchat are foreign to adults, so teens can more freely express themselves [on Instagram and Snapchat] without worrying about their parents looking at their every post.”
Snapchat’s popularity continues to exponentially increase. Between the numerous filters , geotags for sporting events and iconic locations, maintaining Snap Streaks and being on another person’s best friends list, the visual and interactive appeal of Snapchat has drawn in more and more users.
“I use Snapchat almost every day. It offers a fun take on photography with filters and different options you can use to take unique pictures of people and of scenery,” said Brett Haffner, a junior at Hinsdale South High School. “It also allows me to be able to ‘see’ people’s faces who I may not be able to see on an everyday basis.”
Unlike a text message, which can limit creative expression, a Snapchat can show more of a person’s emotions and personality depending on what they decide to send a picture of.
“One aspect of Snapchat that I really like is that the picture isn’t permanent unless someone sends a screenshot of it,” said Rebecca Biernacki, a senior from Hinsdale Central High School. “I like how the pictures are temporary because each moment in life is only temporary and on Snapchat I’m capturing moments of my life.”
For pictures that teens want to last for more than 10 seconds, the answer is no longer to post these pictures on Facebook, but rather to post them on Instagram because it is simpler. Facebook can be overwhelming to new users because there are too many options; you can update your status, find friends, change your profile, post a picture, view your feed, share a post, react to a post, or comment on someone’s post. Meanwhile, Instagram is easy to navigate for teens, without excessive options to scroll through.
“People go where the majority is and now that is Instagram and Snapchat. These platforms are the most appealing because they have the modern, sleek look that everyone likes,” said Ainsley Wallace, a sophomore at Hinsdale Central High School. “It’s not that Facebook is doing anything wrong. It’s just that not many people our age use it, so then people’s friends aren’t on it and the cycle continues.”
Facebook’s popularity is undeniable in terms of numbers, with nearly triple the amount of users as Instagram, the closest competitor. According to Washington Post, teens are leaving Facebook at an estimated rate of up to a million a year because their the social media preferences are shifting towards Instagram and Snapchat.
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