Back when most of us were teenagers, what we now know as “social media” consisted of long hours tying up the family telephone chatting with our friends, or perhaps time spent cruising the boulevards or at the town soda shop. Times have changed and so has the technology, and our teenagers communicate by all manner of instant electronic means.
Early commercial online chat services such as Prodigy and Compuserve eventually gave way to the king of instant messaging, America Online. It seemed like anyone who was online had an AOL account, and when Internet connectivity became widespread, so did AOL Instant Messenger. “I-M me” was a popular phrase, and rather than exchanging phone numbers, screen names were the lingua franca of the early online world. New services like Friendster and MySpace gave way to the reigning champion, Facebook. Adoption of Facebook spread from the original college audience to just about everyone, including commercial interests, and it looked as if Facebook messaging was going to supplant e-mail as the dominant form of communication online.
But not so fast. Just as teens migrated from AOL to MySpace, and then to Facebook, it looks like another shift is in the works. The share of teens who consider Facebook as their most popular social network is actually starting to drop, from 42 percent a year ago to 23 percent today. What’s replacing it? Twitter, for one. Once the domain of middle-aged users describing what they had for lunch, Twitter has become an important microblogging medium where one can not only post pearls of wisdom (as we do from time to time) and follow breaking news as it happens, but can also have private chats in a format easier than text messaging. Photo-sharing sites, notably Instagram, are also picking up popularity among young users, posting everything from “selfies” to pictures of their pets to short video clips. Snapchat, in which a photo appears for a fleeting few seconds on the recipient’s smartphone, is used almost second-naturedly by high-schoolers, and the Chinese service WeChat has picked up global users by the millions. There is even evidence that old-fashioned e-mail is making a comeback.
So what happened to Facebook?
Via: Bobwhite Blather