Report: Teens' Love Affair with Facebook Might be Waning

roiworldIt might come as a shock, but according to a new study released by Roiworld, some teenagers are actually getting tired of Facebook. Citing such things as too many notifications, too many ads, their parents signing up, or just being plain tired of the site as their reasons, teens appear to be growing weary of Facebook as their primary method of keeping in contact with each other.

Social networks in general take up a large portion of teens’ time online – over 80% of it according to this survey. The Facebook burnout isn’t affecting all of these youthful social networkers: 90% of teens say they use social networks and prefer Facebook above all others. However, nearly a fifth of these (19%) say they use the site less often, or have stopped altogether in recent weeks. Also, 21% of those surveyed say that their friends are using Facebook less often than before.

facebook roiworld 2

So when did this “Facebook fatigue” start? The below chart shows that 68% of teens who say they are using Facbook less began to decrease their usage sometime in the last six months. The majority of teens (29%) have reported that they are using it less only over the last month.

facebook roiworld

Another interesting finding from this study showed that about two in five social networking teens spent money on some form of virtual good – and half of these report getting a “social network allowance” from their parents or relatives. It appears as though virtual goods are entering the mainstream in a big way.

Gaming in general is becoming an increasingly important element of online activity for teens, and most of the online gameplay amongst this demographic occurs on social networking sites like Facebook, Gaia Online and Maplestory. More than one third of those who responded positively that they play games on Facebook say that over 50% of their time on the site is spent gaming.

This survey consisted of 600 teens ages 13 to 17 (300 male and 300 female) that Roiworld polled about their social networks use. You can access the results of the survey here.

If one fifth of teenagers are indeed leaving Facebook, where are they going? It’s hard to imagine that teens can give up social networking cold turkey, especially if they have grown up using it to plan parties, catch up with friends and chat online. This survey leaves us with lots of questions about the greatest attraction that social networks offer to teens. Rather than simply a way to keep up to date on when their BFF last had a soy latte, it might be gaming that is the real pull towards social networks for teens.