Social networking less popular with the youth

A surprising article has been published in today's issue of the UK newspaper The Independent. According to the article, the media regulator Ofcom have done some research and have found that growing numbers of teenagers are turning their backs on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. The statistics found that among the fifteen to twenty-four age group, those with a profile have fallen five percentage points from the end of march last year, to fifty percent this year.

According to Ofcom's research, despite social networking becoming less popular for the young, there has been a considerable boost in its popularity for the slightly older generations. Britons aged between thirty-five and fifty-four seem to have embraced the idea of social networking. Perhaps it's the fear of parents and other older family members joining up which is scaring the teenagers away?

The above older age group has proved to be the fastest growing according to the research with thirty five per cent claiming an account. Ofcom have said that social networking had been one of the "fastest moving stories in digital communications in the past four years."

Furthermore, according to Ofcom's research, Facebook does still seem to be the dominant social networking website in the UK, rising seventy-three per cent to hit a monthly audience of nineteen million unique people. Rivals such as Bebo have become a little less popular, perhaps in Facebook's shadow, shunting seventeen per cent lower, whilst MySpace remains to have a little growth.

Finally, the brilliant success of Twitter has not gone unnoticed by the researchers at Ofcom. Stating that it has grown from 150,000 unique users in May last year, to 2.6 million this year.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows 7 now available on Technet and MSDN

Next Story

O2 may lose iPhone exclusive contract [UK]

28 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I'm not suprised.

Facebook et al are just a phase. Sooner or later, they will be replaced with something bigger and better.

Everything has a phase. Some are just longer than others.

The only difference being when Facebook liquidates their assets its 5 years of your life they are selling to their creditors.

wakers01 said,
I'm actually really surprised by this.

I get the impression that kids now just txt constantly... why bother with social networking? I dont think this in includes twitter either which i understand is really popular for some stupid reason
ps im drunk and my keyboard is makign strnage noises while im typing

Facebook didn't do it for me because I got like a million requests and then we never exchanged ANY sort of contact beyond then. It pretty much came to a point of me already knowing what's going on in the lives of those important to me and not caring about what's happening to those I don't stay in touch with.

Social networking is the opposite of what teenagers want. My younger sister is 18 and still lives at home, and she has a Facebook account. She doesn't use it though because in general she'd much rather go and actually SEE her friends.

Me on the other had, I've moved half a country away from where I grew up, and Facebook is a much more important part of my life because it helps me keep in touch with my friends back at home. As an adult, I use Facebook much more than I did as a kid because as a kid, I saw my friends more often. Now that I'm an adult, I see my friends less often because I've got a job, a house and taxes to pay, so Facebook is much more useful to me because I can keep up with my circle of friends from hundreds of miles away.

Doesn't shock me that it'd fall somewhat for younger age groups. The 15 to 20 age bracket will have a good number of people still in school which in turn means they are in constant contact with those people that are close friends anyway. The fact the older age brackets percentage grew I think reflects the fact that these services are better suited to situations where people have diversified and moved away from friends and the like and thus it becomes one of the more viable means of contact.

+1
i think you've just about summed it up there.
kids are too busy daisychaining, happy slapping and getting pregnant.. i see them on the news at 10 on ITN. In my day we had feet and doorbells. If you wanted to network with a friend, you walked round to his house and knocked on the door. There was some basic security in the form of a parent opening the door and letting you in to network with their child :P There was still porn on this early system, it was just hidden in the parent's bedroom cupboard and sometimes featured the parent that just cleared you through security

lol too right. I cant honestly see what all of the fuss is about, you go on there to tell everyone, everything unremarkable about your life, and everyone pretends they care, where in fact it just looks cool that we can do this now rather than, as you say, get up and go round their house. socialising using the internet, primarily, is NOT socialising at all, but filling a void in your life with pointless crap.

No change there then!

pasty2k2 said,
lol too right. I cant honestly see what all of the fuss is about, you go on there to tell everyone, everything unremarkable about your life, and everyone pretends they care, where in fact it just looks cool that we can do this now rather than, as you say, get up and go round their house. socialising using the internet, primarily, is NOT socialising at all, but filling a void in your life with pointless crap.

No change there then!


Generally the only people who post comments like this are afraid if they get involved with social networking they won't have any friends, so they belittle those who get involved.

I'm pretty sure I read something somewhere that worded it just about the best it could be worded:

Social networking sites are like high school parties: they're over once the parents show up.

i liked facebook when it was targeted towards college/university students only (and i personally only added people that i knew in real life) but since then it's just become increasingly bloated. admittedly i use it to play scrabble with a couple of friends of mine but that's the extent of it.

i think it'd be better to have social networking for specific areas instead of 'one shoe fits all' type of deal that facebook and myspace have resorted to. for ex: linked in is about professional networking only. if i'm adding someone there i know that the purpose is strictly professional and i don't have to worry about dealing with any weirdos or malicious people. another example, imeem: it is about connecting people through music. when i go there i know that it's all just about music and i don't have to intersect that with my professional profile at linked in. it keeps things simple for me.

Perhaps it's the fear of parents and other older family members joining up which is scaring the teenagers away?

Heh, reminds me of that South Park episode "Chinpokomon."

...Waits for someone to post a sentance including the older-people statistic and the world "Paedophile"...

The word "Ronald McDonald"? Oh snap! That's another form of child abuse but that is legalised. How the sheeple like to fantasise about paedophiles lurking behind every bush but overlook the obvious child abusers in their midsts. In my area the owners of Mc's franchises are often in the local papers receiving community awards for abusing the children that work for them.

it's about time, FB, Myspace & Bebo cater to the attention whore in people. The problem is, 99% of the people with these accounts are completely boring people with nothing to offer. The question is, why would anyone want to look at their sites?

So once the dim-witted attention whores realise no-one but their own loser friends are veiwing their spaces it dawns on them to ditch their space as why spend 2-3 hours per day maintaining a space that only losers like themseleves ever visit.

DEATH to the boring attention whores with their endless drivel about what they did each day and the kinds of music they like to listen to, their current mood etc., etc., News flash attention whores, no one gives a sh$% about you or your music or your mood. Do something interesting then we'll talk....

Now, if the womenz post noodz of themselves then that is a different story and their profiles are worth the visit. We need MOAR of the REAL ATTENTION WHORES and less of the boring variety.

LOL I think the growth in users in the age group 30+ started when employers saw their employees using social networking websites at work. So they put their info on the social network, so work could be fun & social. Plus universities, corporations, etc. could provide news and services to their employees and loyal customers easily. Everyone has a little sheep in them. So, because they have a page on, say Facebook, so should we! Now work is social, those loyal customers are older, and more older people are on the social network!

Social networks have always been a "storage boxes" of contacts for me. Just add them and forget the site. I am most social with people who I am in direct contact with or who I chat (voice, video, text) with or who I exchange e-mails with.

You know what's the worst thing of the internet? so much porn.

A couple weeks ago I decided to erase all porn and stop getting more, and you know what? the internet is ****ing boring.

Callum M-R said,
Because it sounds like a rebellious/controversial thing to say.

Duh.


I hated Facebook even before it became popular!! +1 ripgut

ripgut said,
Facebook and myspace are cancers on the internet

Maybe I wouldnt state it the same way but I do agree that people just jumped on these Social Networking Sites... I mean what happened to acutally going out and meeting someone in person?
My friend says that she has around 1200 friends... I mean come on... What the hell is wrong with some of these people?!
I am glad that at least the new generation is getting our of this Social Networking BS....