Facebook Places Don't Grab Teens' Attention

Nearly half of teenagers haven't even heard of Facebook Places or other geolocation services.

Nearly half of teenagers haven’t even heard of Facebook Places or other geolocation services.And those who have don’t see the point of them or consider them unsafe.

This comes from the youth communications agency Dubit, which surveyed 1,000 11- to 18- year olds, a survey group with a balance of ages, gender and location.

Here are the more detailed findings outlined by Dubit:

  • 48 percent of teens have not heard of Places, Foursquare, or other location services
  • 58 percent of teens who have heard of location services don’t see the point
  • 45 percent of teens who have heard of the services feel they are unsafe
  • 27 percent of teens have heard of Foursquare
  • Only 5 percent of teens who have heard of Foursquare actually use it
  • 67 percent of teens who have heard of the services don’t use any of them
  • 76 percent of the girls who’ve heard of the location services don’t use any of them, while 60 percent of the boys don’t use them.
  • Facebook’s Places was recognized more than any other service with 44 per cent being aware of it compared to 27 per cent having heard of Foursquare.
  • Of the teens that are aware of the products, five per cent use Foursquare, compared to 30 per cent who use Places.

Not too surprisingly, awareness of these services increased ever so slightly with age, albeit more apparently so with Foursquare: 20 per cent of 11-14 year olds were aware of Foursquare compared to 38 percent of 17-18 year olds, while Places saw an increase of 12 percent across the same age ranges.

Among the teens who do use the services, 48 percent said fun was the main reason, and 45 percent said they like friends to know where they are. Only 14 percent cited Deals and special offers as a rationale for using them.

Peter Robinson, head of research at Dubit said in a press release:

When Places launched much of the criticism was focused at its lack of gamification – it just didn’t look fun. As we can now see, this doesn’t matter to teens who would rather boast about where they are and who they are with; all benefits that come from being on the largest social network. Ultimately teens just don’t see the point of these offerings. Perhaps when Facebook’s Deals product gains momentum this will change things and young people may be driven by discounts but at the moment the brands who are using these platforms, and the platform owners need to be telling teens why they should be using them and how they can do so safely.

Given that Places isn’t even a full year old yet, these relatively low awareness and usage levels don’t seem too outrageous. If these kinds of numbers were to come in a year or two from now we might be more alarmed.

What do you make of Dubit’s findings, readers?