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More teens flocking to Twitter as enthusiasm for Facebook wanes

May 21, 2013|By Jessica Guynn
  • An iPhone showing the Twitter and Facebook apps, among others.
An iPhone showing the Twitter and Facebook apps, among others. (Evan Vucci / Associated…)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Twitter is getting the youth vote.

Nearly a quarter of teens now use Twitter to catch up with friends and keep track of celebrities, a big jump in usage as teens flock to different social media sites and spend less time on Facebook to avoid their parents and other adults as well as rampant "oversharing."

One in four online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. That's higher than the 16% of online adults who now use Twitter.

Teens are increasingly turning to Twitter, mobile photo-sharing service Instagram and social blogging service Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo on Monday for $1.1 billion, as they express “waning enthusiasm” for Facebook, the survey found.

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But Facebook remains the go-to social network for teens, with 94% of online teens saying they have a profile on Facebook and 81% saying it is the social network they use most often.

Seven percent of online teens say they use Twitter most often, while 3% say they use Instagram most often and 1% say Tumblr.

The report from Pew echoed this story I wrote a year ago that predicted the flight of teens from Facebook to new forums for personal expression and social networking.

Teens are posting more and more personal information on social media. The survey found that teens are more likely than they were even a few years ago to post photographs, their hometown, name of their school, email address and mobile phone number.

On Facebook, 6 of 10 teens say they use restrictive privacy settings to be sure their posts are seen only by their friends. An additional 25% allow posts to be seen by friends of friends. On Twitter, a quarter of teens post updates privately to friends. Part of the appeal of Twitter: teens don’t have to use their real names so they don’t have to worry about updates turning up in Google searches or being discovered by parents.

One thing teens are not worried about: being targeted by online marketers and data brokers. Just 9% of teens said they were concerned about how their information is being collected. Nearly half of parents said they were concerned.

ALSO:

Some teens aren't liking Facebook as much as older users

Yahoo seeks turnaround with $1.1 billion deal to buy Tumblr

Yahoo's challenge to be building Tumblr's advertising business

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