Normally, it is taken for granted that most smartphone users would be on Facebook and use popular messagings app at the same time. This, recent numbers show, is certainly not true in the case of teenagers who are increasingly drawn to messaging apps, moving away from Facebook.
The problem poses a significant threat to Facebook’s growth. The social network is bound to grow in the next few years by ensuring its popularity among the teenagers. However, currently teenagers seem far more drawn towards messaging app such as WhatsApp and Snapchat.
For instance, the percentage of 16 – 24 year old Americans who use Facebook on weekly basis is 40% whereas those in the same age bracket who use WhatsApp on weekly basis is 37%. Not only that, there is a small overlap between the two services. 45% American smartphone users use only Facebook while another 31% use only WhatsApp – neither of these two portions access both services on their handsets.
This exclusivity between messaging apps and Facebook is increasing. Teens are drawn away from Facebook, which may appear boring to them, and want to test out new, exciting apps which are hip and popular – such as Snapchat. Another statistic from Distimo further affirms it.
According to Distimo, 32% American iPhone users stuck to Snapchat, another 24% used BBM, 18% preferred Kik, 17% weighed in favor of WhatsApp and another 10% decided to go with Viber. Clearly, with such an overwhelming interest in messaging apps, it is only natural that smartphone users wouldn’t want to indulge too much in Facebook interactions.
When Snapchat recently passed on Facebook’s generous offer, some called it over-confident. I believe that if teens will indeed decide the future of connected social networking, Snapchat is already winning the game by targeting the right audience. Facebook, on the other hand, is losing the teenagers as a result of messaging apps.