Social media websites experience a drop

By Addison Smith | Sports Editor

While we all still continue to use it, social media is not as appealing as it was before. Vine was no longer cool after Instagram began to include a video feature. Facebook has become the mom spot (my mom posting photos of her hotel room in Boston included). Twitter just gets oddly repetitive after a while, especially if someone tweets upwards of 10 times a day. And honestly, FourSquare? Who wants to be mayor in a town no one visits? And getting a LinkedIn profile is the admittance that you’re ready to find a job and leave college life behind.

Yet we find ourselves logging onto Facebook to update our profile pictures so no one thinks we look the same as we did last year, heaven forbid. We go on Twitter to check up on Richard Sherman, Miley Cyrus and Liam Payne. We go on Vine just to see if by some miracle, Bo Burnham or Josh Peck have uploaded a new video. We go on LinkedIn to market ourselves and scream “hire me!” to our dream company.

A Facebook study by Piper Jaffray was published in a Forbes article entitled “Facebook admits it’s seen a drop in usage among teens,” said that a year ago 42 percent of teens said they preferred Facebook. Now this usage has dropped to 23 percent. Teenagers seem to not be using social media these days. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. We all see the tween love stories on Instagram when going through the throwback Thursday tag. (Seriously though, do you ever brave the selfie Sunday tag only to find that you think it’s throwback Thursday?) Then there’s the always present One Direction preteen fan base on Twitter defending anything and everything their favorite British and Irish boys do.

According to a study released by TIME in the article “More Than 11 Million Young People Have Fled Facebook Since 2011,” Facebook has had negative growth with high school and college students.

What’s caused this negative trend? Some teenagers just think Facebook isn’t, well, cool. According to another TIME article entitled “Is Facebook Losing Its Cool? Some Teens Think So,” a lot of young people agree that Facebook has become the hangout for parents and extended family.

So what can Facebook do to gain back an important demographic? Well besides kick anyone over 25 off, they can attempt to appeal to the younger generation. Facebook has recently adapted their own versions of what makes Twitter work with their new hashtag and trends features. Now you can see any post your friends have with the same hashtag as you and can see what’s trending all over a live feed tailored to you.

However, unlike Twitter, no one really seems to be utilizing these features on Facebook. The only time hashtags pop up on my news feed is when people connect their Instagram accounts. And the trends feature? I have yet to find any new stories or interesting topics through it.

To truly regain and maintain people’s interest, Facebook has to do something special and have a true wow factor. As of right now, Facebook is the same as it was years ago and the new elements are from other sites. Now, it’s up to Facebook to come up with something new and make it memorable.

Eventually, young people will return to these sites, but it’s up to them to make the experience fresh again.

Addison Smith is a junior Print journalism and Political Science major and can be reached at smitha11@duq.edu.

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