Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Facebook Features Get Mixed Reviews from Teens


Teens have mixed reviews about the recent changes on Facebook, according to a survey by GrownUpThinking.

Overwhelmingly, teens are openly and seriously considering spending less time on Facebook as a direct result of the recent changes. Only four percent of teens plan to spend more time on Facebook. According to the  research, 47 percent will maintain the same level of usage, electing to “put up with the annoyances” in order to access the features that made the platform valuable to them in the first place: visiting friend pages, commenting on walls and engaging in chats.

The survey of 2,000 (14-17 year old) teens suggests many find the changes “confusing, annoying, disappointing and useless,” (among comments made repeatedly in our discussion forums).

Teens mention Facebook’s biggest strength is its simplicity and ease of use. Only 19 percent of teens felt that the interface was easier to navigate, with 45 percent saying the page feels cluttered by all of the new features.

Social media fatigue may become a bigger problem, with an onslaught of updates streaming through the newly-added ticker, causing 35 percent of teens to feel “uncomfortable” with the new level of sharing.

But “Timeline” gets a big thumbs up. Timeline received the most praise from teens in our study (27 percent said it was their favorite above all Facebook features). Securing a position on a teen’s Timeline will have meant that your brand achieved a defining connection in the life of a teen. In contrast, apps that are currently auto-posting their way on to Timelines of unsuspecting teens will need to quickly adapt in order to maintain long-term relevance and placement.

Since most teens have between 100 and 500 friends, the ticker scrolls too-fast to provide meaningful updates. The ticker is seen as a distraction, over-communicating their activities without providing any real value. Only 17 percent see any value in viewing friend activity this way, with 31 percent of teens trying to ignore its very existence on the page. They worry that a ticker provides information that “is not theirs to see” in the first place, with the word “stalker” being mentioned on several occasions.

Teens have mixed reviews about the recent changes on Facebook, according to a survey by GrownUpThinking.

Overwhelmingly, teens are openly and seriously considering spending less time on Facebook as a direct result of the recent changes. Only four percent of teens plan to spend more time on Facebook. According to the  research, 47 percent will maintain the same level of usage, electing to “put up with the annoyances” in order to access the features that made the platform valuable to them in the first place: visiting friend pages, commenting on walls and engaging in chats.

The survey of 2,000 (14-17 year old) teens suggests many find the changes “confusing, annoying, disappointing and useless,” (among comments made repeatedly in our discussion forums).

Teens mention Facebook’s biggest strength is its simplicity and ease of use. Only 19 percent of teens felt that the interface was easier to navigate, with 45 percent saying the page feels cluttered by all of the new features.

Social media fatigue may become a bigger problem, with an onslaught of updates streaming through the newly-added ticker, causing 35 percent of teens to feel “uncomfortable” with the new level of sharing.

But “Timeline” gets a big thumbs up. Timeline received the most praise from teens in our study (27 percent said it was their favorite above all Facebook features). Securing a position on a teen’s Timeline will have meant that your brand achieved a defining connection in the life of a teen. In contrast, apps that are currently auto-posting their way on to Timelines of unsuspecting teens will need to quickly adapt in order to maintain long-term relevance and placement.

Since most teens have between 100 and 500 friends, the ticker scrolls too-fast to provide meaningful updates. The ticker is seen as a distraction, over-communicating their activities without providing any real value. Only 17 percent see any value in viewing friend activity this way, with 31 percent of teens trying to ignore its very existence on the page. They worry that a ticker provides information that “is not theirs to see” in the first place, with the word “stalker” being mentioned on several occasions.

Overwhelmingly, teens view apps as not adding value to their news feed. They view apps as “clogging” their wall with “spam” and an unnecessary level of communication. At best, “it depends” on the type of app being used. The top apps on Facebook with teens are Twitter (27 percent), Ticketmaster (21 percent), Yahoo (24 percent), Netflix (20 percent) and Spotify (15 percent).

According to the survey, 25 percent of teens will be using Facebook less and Google+ more, with 10 percent saying they would drop Facebook completely. Among teens that are already using Google+, they rave about the platform as being cleaner and “more social” than Facebook.

Lack of knowledge about Google+ seems to be the biggest barrier to entry among teens who express interest in staying loyal to Facebook. Also, teens have opted for staying with Facebook over Google+ because the majority of their friends are already on it.

Screen Shot 2011-10-11 at 10.25.36 AM
Overwhelmingly, teens view apps as not adding value to their news feed. They view apps as “clogging” their wall with “spam” and an unnecessary level of communication. At best, “it depends” on the type of app being used. The top apps on Facebook with teens are Twitter (27 percent), Ticketmaster (21 percent), Yahoo (24 percent), Netflix (20 percent) and Spotify (15 percent).

According to the survey, 25 percent of teens will be using Facebook less and Google+ more, with 10 percent saying they would drop Facebook completely. Among teens that are already using Google+, they rave about the platform as being cleaner and “more social” than Facebook.

Lack of knowledge about Google+ seems to be the biggest barrier to entry among teens who express interest in staying loyal to Facebook. Also, teens have opted for staying with Facebook over Google+ because the majority of their friends are already on it.

Teens react to Facebook changes


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