- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
Teenagers globally are migrating to Snapchat and Instagram attracted by special animated features such as puppy faces, cat ears, dangling glasses and flower crowns on user faces lacking in Facebook which is now considered a platform for old people.
A research by eMarketer released in August 2017 shows a drop in user base among teens of 12 to 17 years old by 3.4 per cent from a 1.2 per cent decline in 2016 by a group now termed as ‘Facebook Nevers’ with some abandoning the platform altogether.
“We have seen teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms have been successful with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate that is, using visual content,” said eMarketer, senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco.
“Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged—logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform.”
Facebook stopped being the cool online hangout joint among teens when parents (50-65-year-olds) joined as a way of spying on their kids only for them to stay after realizing it was a fun place to reconnect with their high-school friends and distant family, leaving the teens with no privacy.
“Although Facebook cuts across all ages, teenagers feel a level of exclusivity with platforms like Instagram and Snapchat which are now more appealing among Kenyan youth because we live in a conservative society that is not accepting teens dating or living in a certain way, therefore teenagers are not comfortable sharing such a platform with their parents,” said Bruce Gumo, a marketing analyst at BizTrace, a market solutions company
“Teens on Instagram and Snapchat can better express themselves here because they have people they perceive understand them and relate to more comfortably and are therefore more active and open on these platforms.”
Apart from privacy the use of images on Instagram keeps teens hooked following the daily lives of celebrities, bloggers and people they admire through quality photos and short video stories, while Snapchat offers users an opportunity to share ten second long videos with cool animated features to a generation that has the shortest attention span according to research.
Teens also enjoy the fact that unlike Facebook which keeps records of all posts done; they can upload videos on Snapchat and Instagram that disappear within 24 hours and after being viewed by people in their follower list giving a sense of privacy and access to fresh content.
Surprisingly, millennials (20-35-year-olds) have become the experts in online branding with many using social media to enhance their careers in blogging, writing, photography, fashion and other entertainment fields.
While ten thousand baby boomers retire daily, a 2017 study by Belk College show that although millennials are the most educated, ethnically diverse, and often delay marriage for careers they will be almost half of the workforce by 2020 with those surveyed saying they would rather have no job than a job they hate, and one-third prefer recognition overpay. This is why they are turning to social media as platforms they can use for work such brand influencers.
On the contrary, baby boomers (50-65) use Facebook as an escape from their daily lives, for them, it is somewhere they log into to get away from the daily boring routine and take time to connect with a few friends.
A research from Silver surfers, an informative lifestyle site, revealed that Facebook is the most used platform of social media for the over 50-year-olds with 47 per cent of them believe they will use Facebook more as they grow older.
However, platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are used by people in the corporate world, CEOs and the elites who go there for access to information and to air opinions on various matters.
“People on Twitter are well educated and are from the working class. They use Twitter to get current news and are usually opinion shapers. They have very good English and overview of the world. You will rarely find people use Swahili on Twitter,” said Gumo.
According to research by Pew Research Center, Twitter is associated and is more popular among Generation X (36-49-year-olds) who are highly sophisticated with 29 per cent of users with college degrees.
However, Facebook still has the largest demographic of all social media platforms and still remains the main marketing platform with one billion people in the world active Facebook users.