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Facebook dethroned, other social sites attracting students

By Danielle Hendrix
On February 9, 2014

Many college students remember the novelty of creating their first Facebook account back in high school.

A few years ago, if something witty was said, some people automatically exclaimed, “Facebook status.”

Also, remember liking all of those “relatable” pages that now clog up our news feeds?

With Facebook now having passed the 10-year mark, we have to wonder: Has it begun losing its popularity over time as MySpace did?

Most students seem to think it has. Aly Singer, psychology senior, thinks Facebook has been gradually losing ground to social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter.

“Instagram and Twitter are really popular right now,” Singer said. “Most of my friends think Facebook is stupid now.”

Singer hasn’t used Facebook since she deleted her account two years ago after continued harassment from her ex-boyfriend and his friends.

She has since migrated over to Instagram and Tumblr.

“Facebook is good to keep in touch with old friends, but privacy is always an issue. That’s something I really don’t like about it,” she said.

According to Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual teen market research report, 26 percent of teens named Twitter as their favorite or most important social networking site, while 23 percent said this of Facebook.

Junior radio-television major Brittany Franze falls into those percentage of students detaching themselves from Facebook.

Franze is an avid user of the social media outlets Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, but she favors Twitter and agrees that Facebook is falling to newer social media sites.

She still uses Facebook, but only to see what other people are up to.

She rarely posts to her account.

Even Facebook’s chief financial officer, David Ebersman, thinks Facebook is losing ground to Instagram.

At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference last February, he stated that Instagram is a “quite formidable competitor” to Facebook.

The company admitted that younger users are turning to it and similar sites as a substitute for Facebook.

Interestingly enough, though, Business Insider reported in November that 83 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds who use the Internet are on it.

Whether or not this number reflects active users is unclear, but Business Insider found that Facebook “still skews young.”

On the contrary, the website Mashable stated in December that “Facebook is the cigarette of 2013, the ‘bad habit’ many are trying to kick.”

Mashable reached out to young users who left Facebook and found that while half returned to it with a reduced presence, the other half was happy to be free of it.

Among the top reasons listed as to why millennials are leaving the site was that it’s overwhelming, clogged with ads, Instagram photos and shared posts.

The other reasons listed were “to hide incriminating evidence from employers, to hide from a breakup and to avoid anxieties.”

Melissa Dodd, an assistant advertising-public relations professor at UCF, also believes college students are moving away from Facebook for similar reasons.

“Social media has become a major outlet for employers to check out applicants in advance of interviews,” Dodd said. “Traditionally, employers would receive resumes with education and job experience, but little information about themselves — even when cover letters were included. Today, visiting an applicant’s social media sites to learn more about them has become more common practice. This allows those making the hiring decisions a real view into the applicant’s background and activities.”

Kyle Dagen, a freshman chemistry major, believes Facebook is a fad and will die out just as social networking sites in the past, which lost popularity over time.

“People are going to stop using it and move on to the next big social networking site,” he said. “Facebook is still ridiculously popular and widely used amongst many students [at the moment], but not nearly as much as before Twitter was created.”


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