Since Google has (finally) entered the social media market with Google+, Facebook is changing. The ticker and the new timeline are examples of the changes that have been made. What do teens think about these changes? And will they stay or abandon ship? Mr Youth, a research agency in New York (check out this research about Occupy Wallstreet and GenY), surveyed 2.000 (14-17 year old) teens to find out if they like or dislike the new Facebook. Are the recent changes Mark Zuckerberg and his friends in Palo Alto made driving teens in the arms of Google?
Spending less time on Facebook
At the moment teens spending 90 minutes each day on Facebook. Due the changes they seriously consider to spend less time on their favourite social network. Only 4% of the teens plan to spend more time on Facebook. 47% will maintain the same level of usage, they will put up with the changes to access the features they like, such as chatting and visiting pages of friends.
The new interface is confusing, but tolerated
Teens admit that it takes some time to get used to the new lay out of Facebook. But still they call the changes, confusing, useless, annoying and disappointing. Teens mention that Facebook’s strength is simplicity and ease of use. 19% of the teens felt that the new Facebook was easier to navigate. 45% said that the page feels cluttered because of all the new features. Very important is that 35% of the teens feels uncomfortable by the new level of sharing in the Ticker. Also social media fatigue is a problem.
Ticker is a ‘scrolling stalker’
Most teens have between 100 and 500 friends, which means that the ticker scrolls very fast. Too fast to give teens a meaningful updates. Teens see the Ticker as a distraction, 31% tries to ignore it. The worry that the Ticker provides their friends information that ‘is not theirs to see’. The word stalker was mentioned in several occasions. Only 17% sees any value in the Ticker.
The new timeline is awesome!
The new timeline is not officially launched to the masses, but there are Youtube movies who tell you how to install it. A couple of teens in the study installed it and they praise it! (27%).
Are teens valuing Facebook apps?
Teens view apps as no value to their news feed. They view apps as ‘clogging’ their wall with spam. But still it depends on which app. The top Facebook apps teens use are Twitter (27%), Ticketmaster (21%), Yahoo (24%), Netflix (20%) and Spotify (15%). Apps that allow teens to discover new content, were tolerable. 37% of the teens like apps that allow them to share music.
42% of the teens noticing a brand on Facebook through a friend’s app usage. The conclusion is that if an app provides value to them and to their friends it’s acceptable. If you do it right you can win new fans, because 70% of the teens is more likely to use an app if they see that a friend is using it.
Teens take their likes seriously
Teens take the action of liking something very seriously. 57% of the teens see a like as a reflection of their own personal brand. For 37% is a like as a direct endorsement to their friends. And 39% view a like as a signal to a brand that they would like to receive updates. This is the one occasion in which the Ticker has proven to be useful, 56% of the teens have seen a friend like a brand through the Ticker.
The doors are open for Google+
According to the survey, 25% of teens will be using Facebook less and Google+ more. 10% even says that they drop Facebook completely. The teens that already use Google+ say that this network is more clean and social than Facebook. But a lack of knowledge of Google+ is for a lot of teens a reason to stay loyal to Facebook. Also that their friends are at Facebook and aren’t at Google+ is a reason to stay were they are.
Teens are not that negative about the new Facebook. They need to get use to the new lay out and navigation of Facebook. But when most of their friends stay at Facebook, they will too. Finally that’s what social networking is all about!