The FINANCIAL — There’s no question of Facebook’s position at the top of the social networking space, and one thing that makes the site so powerful is that when it comes to social networking, a user’s friends must be users too. But among some teens, Facebook may be losing its stickiness.
According to a study from OTX and virtual fashion site Roiworld, nearly one in five teens with a Facebook profile had decreased or discontinued their use of the site as of April 2010.
What’s more, the decreases seemed to speed up in recent months, with two-thirds of the lapsed users having turned away from the site in the past six months.
In addition, 9% of teen internet users said they had a Facebook profile but had completely abandoned it.
This turnover does not approach the level of MySpace, where 22% of teens had completely stopped using a profile. YouTube and Twitter both sported relatively high 15% abandonment rates.
In Facebook’s case, decreased usage does not appear to be related to the privacy issues raised in spring 2010, or even to the influx of older users on the site. Instead, the plurality of lapsed users simply find the site boring.
Keeping fickle teens’ interest will be important both for Facebook and the marketers who want to connect with them there. Social games, which most consider a cheap way to relax, have fun and kill some time while playing with friends, are one solution. According to the report, 73% of teen internet users play some kind of social games, and 81% of teen Facebook users play games on Facebook. And the time spent doing so can add up: Facebook gamers reported spending 7 hours a week on the activity.