Where Young Facebook Refugees Are Going Next

The question isn’t about why teens are leaving Facebook; it’s about where they’re going instead.

Where Young Facebook Refugees Are Going Next

We’ve known for a while that teenagers have been edging away from Facebook. Heck, even Facebook has admitted as much:


“We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook,” the company’s most recent annual report states.

What we haven’t heard much about is where users are headed instead. In the same report, Facebook cites (Facebook-owned) Instagram as an example of an alternative product younger users are turning to in lieu of the social network.

But according to a recent study of 1,200 “Gen Z” 13- to 18-year-olds by Wikia, the collaborative publishing platform, and Ipsos MediaCT, 93% of participants are clocking weekly time on YouTube, while only 65% of users visit Facebook weekly.

Consider, too, the latest study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, which notes the rise of mobile Internet access among teens: One in four teens say they mostly go online using their phone, rather than another device such as a desktop. It’s easy to see how Gen Z’s embracing of mobile-first could yield a rich opportunity for relative newcomers such as Snapchat to claim their slice of Gen Z’s ever-dwindling attention span.

Read more about the Most Innovative Companies in Mobile, one of our Industries to Watch.

[Image: Flickr user Alejandro Juárez]

About the author

Christina is an associate editor at Fast Company, where she writes about technology, social media, and business.